Re: Brainstorm: Desktop

If you are thinking about implementing some kind of server-based configuration 
settings I suggest you have a look at RFC 2244 (nov 1997).

This RFC describes ACAP, the Application Configuration Access Protocol. These 
quotes from the RFC should give you an idea of the functionality:


"The Application Configuration Access Protocol (ACAP) is designed to support 
remote storage and access of program option, configuration and preference 
information. The data store model is designed to allow a client relatively 
simple access to interesting data, to allow new information to be easily added 
without server re-configuration, and to promote the use of both standardized 
data and custom or proprietary data. Key features include inheritance which 
can be used to manage default values for configuration settings and access 
control lists which allow interesting personal information to be shared and 
group information to be restricted."

1.3 ACAP design goals

"ACAP's primary purpose is to allow users access to their configuration data 
from multiple network connected computers. Users can then sit down in front of 
any network-connected computer, run any ACAP-enabled application and have 
access to their own configuration data. Because it is hoped that many 
applications will become ACAP-enabled, client simplicity was prefered to 
server or protocol simplicity whenever reasonable.

ACAP is designed to be easily manageable. For this reason, it includes 
inheritance which allow one dataset to inherit default attributes from another 
dataset. In addition, access control lists are included to permit delegation 
of management and quotas are included to control storage. Finally, an ACAP 
server which is conformant to this base specification should be able to 
support most dataset classes defined in the future without requiring a server 
reconfiguration or upgrade.

ACAP is designed to operate well with a client that only has intermittent 
access to an ACAP server. For this reason, each entry has a server maintained 
modification time so that the client may detect changes. In addition, the 
client may ask the server for a list of entries that have been removed since 
it last accessed the server.

ACAP presumes that a dataset may potentially be large and/or the client's 
network connection may be slow, and thus offers server sorting, selective 
fetching and change notification for entries within a dataset.

As required for most Internet protocols, security, scalability and 
internationalization were important design goals.

Given these design goals, an attempt was made to keep ACAP as simple as 
possible. It is a traditionnal Internet text based protocol which massively 
simplifies protocol degugging. It was designed based on the successful IMAP 
[IMAP4] protocol framework, with a few refinements."


Emmanuel Rousselle

Windows 95: n.
    32-bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit
    operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor,  written
         by a 2-bit company that can't stand for 1 bit of competition.

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