Now I want to open that discussion to other participants in the MIDAS process for comment, suggestions, ideas, flames, whatever. Please treat this as a request for comment. Nothing in here is set in stone. It describes a process and a technical direction. It's all subject to review and comment.
A couple of months ago I started talking with members of the MIDAS group about what could be done beyond Internet Config 1.2 for storing information that's accessible to all net clients, servers, and content software running on a Mac.
Internet Config 2.0
Internet Config is an open process, with source code placed in the public domain by its authors. We envision a version 2.0 of Internet Config that continues this tradition and is fully backward compabible with version 1.0. When 2.0 launches on a machine that has 1.0 installed, the data is converted to a new format with confirmation by the user. 2.0 will respond to the 1.0 API. It will work with all apps that support IC 1.0.
IC 2.0 extends the IC protocol to allow sharing of bookmarks, mailing lists, web browser cache elements, CGI scripts, specs for external sites, web content glossary and macro tables, and whatever else is deemed interesting and specifiable.
IC 2.0 is cross-platform with versions being released for Win32 and perhaps other net platforms.
Hierarchic data with pointers
We intend to add our object database technology to the Internet Config technology base. In doing so, we will prepare a code extension that implements a simple read, write and traversal API for data stored in the object database. Frontier will be converted to use this code extension, so it will be possible for others to implement alternative database technology and have it transparently accessible to all clients that use it, including Internet Config 2.0 and including a future version of Frontier.
Frontier's object database is a hierarchy of tables that can contain scalars, things like numbers, characters, booleans, strings; and external chunks, things like styled text, outlines, scripts, machine code, pictures; and untyped external chunks, with formats to be determined by cooperating apps or code chunks.
- "Internet Config" page on scripting.com, contains background info on the technology and process of Internet Config.
- [Macro error: Can't find a sub-table named "glossary".] , a DaveNet piece, reporting on Apple's support of Internet Config.