A Light Weight Name Service and its use within a collaborative editor

  • J.-C. Lugeon
  • F. Pacull
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT)


This paper presents the LWNS, a light weight name service specifically designed for groupware applications, and an example of its use. The chosen application, called Duplex, is a collaborative editing environment for users connected through the Internet. It proposes a model based on splitting the document into independent parts, maintained individually and replicated within a distributed kernel. Naming is an important aspect of such application since objects (document parts) are replicated and distributed over the large heterogeneous network. However, this set is small (typically a few dozen elements) and composed of objects whose names are contextual to the document. The replicas are maintained in heterogeneous file systems with no global naming scheme consistent with the name space of the collaboration. Therefore it requires a dedicated name service specifically designed to solve this problem in large scale distributed applications.


Naming large scale distributed systems CSCW 


  1. Birrell, A., Hisgen, A., Jerian, C., Mann, T, and Swart, G. (1993). The Echo distributed file system. Technical Report 111, Digital Systems Research Center.Google Scholar
  2. CCITT (1988). Recommendation X.500: The directory. CCITT Blue Book, VIII (8).Google Scholar
  3. Cheriton, D. and Mann, T. (1989). Decentralizing a global naming service for improved performance and fault tolerance. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 7 (2): 147–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Corner, D. (1988). Internetworking With TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, Architecture. Prentice Hall, Stevenage.Google Scholar
  5. Deschrevel, J. P. (1993). The ANSA model for trading and federation. Technical report, APM Cambridge UK.Google Scholar
  6. Guy, R. G. (1991). Ficus: A very large scale reliable distributed file system. Technical Report CSD-910018, University of California, Los Angeles. Ph.D. dissertation.Google Scholar
  7. Howard, J., Kazar, M., Menees, S., Nichols, D., Satyanarayanan, M., Sidebotham, R., and West, M. (1988). Scale and performance in a distributed file system. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 6 (1): 51–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Linden, R. V. (1993). ANSA architecture report: The ANSA naming model. Technical report, APM Cambridge UK.Google Scholar
  9. Lockhart, H. (1994). OSF DCE Guide to Developing Distributed Applications. Mc Graw-Hill.Google Scholar
  10. Lugeon, J.-C. and Sandoz, A. (1994). A light weight name service for large scale distributed applications and groupware. Technical Report 94–63, Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, Computer Science Departement.Google Scholar
  11. Neumann, B. (1992). The Prospero file system: A global file system based on the virtual system model. In Proceedings of the USENIX File Systems Workshop, pages 13–27.Google Scholar
  12. Ousterhout, J., Cherenson, A., Douglis, F., Nelson, M., and Welch, B. (1988). The Sprite network operating system. IEEE Computer, 21 (2): 23–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pacull, F. (1995). Concepts et mécanismes pour la mise en oeuvre d’un environnement d’ édition coopérative sur un réseau à grande échelle. PhD thesis, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne).Google Scholar
  14. Pacull, F., Sandoz, A., and Schiper, A. (1994). Duplex: A distributed collaborative editing environment in large scale. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘84), pages 165–173.Google Scholar
  15. Postel, J. and Reynolds, J. (1985). File Transfer Protocol. Network Working Group, RFC 959.Google Scholar
  16. Sandberg, R., Goldberg, D., Kleiman, S., Walsh, D., and Lyon, B. (1985). Design and implementation of the Sun Network File system. In Proceedings of the USENIX Summer Conference, pages 119–130.Google Scholar
  17. Sollins, K. and Clark, D. D. (1988). Distributed name management. In Speth, R., editor, Message Handling Systems, pages 97–115. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. ( North-Holland ).Google Scholar
  18. Tanenbaum, A., van Renesse, R., van Staveren, H., Sharp, G., Mullender, S., Jansen, J., and van Rossum, G. (1990). Experience with the Amoeba distributed operating system. Communications of the ACM, 33 (12): 46–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Terry, D., Painter, M., Riggle, D., and Thou, S. (1984). The Berkeley Internet Name Domain server. In Proceedings of the USENIX Summer Conference, pages 23–31.Google Scholar
  20. Welch, B. and Ousterhout, J. (1986). Prefix tables: A simple mechanism for locating files in a distributed system. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Distributed Computer Systems, pages 184–189.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-C. Lugeon
    • 1
  • F. Pacull
    • 1
  1. 1.Département d’InformatiqueEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations