All kinds of electronic devices are getting hooked up to the Internet, and Bill Joy and the rest of the folks over at Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sun Labs research unit are working hard to clear the decks of unfinished business that could hinder progress further down the line. Sun Labs is looking at ways of […]
All kinds of electronic devices are getting hooked up to the Internet, and Bill Joy and the rest of the folks over at Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sun Labs research unit are working hard to clear the decks of unfinished business that could hinder progress further down the line. Sun Labs is looking at ways of resolving the problems of name and address space that the ever-expanding use of the Internet and other networked services brings, plus the obvious security concerns that go with it. Telephony service providers in metropolitan areas the world over have already had to change numbering systems to cope with additional customers. The so-called information superhighway and associated network services require national – or international – naming conventions. Cable-rigged television set-top boxes, computers at work and other devices are seen as gateways into and home and businesses and Joy’s team is also working on the compact, simple, but specialised languages that will operate them and retrieve requested information. (It’s not convinced, for example, that General Magic Inc’s TeleScript language is the way to do network agent programming.) Sun’s science office believes that at this level, companies – which may compete in the marketplace in a conventional sense – are not trying to kill each other off. Rather there is a community of advanced developers at Sun, DEC, Hewlett-Packard and others who all know and understand each others’ work well, and are working towards solving similar problems, having similar goals. Pointing the real interest its ideas are creating, Sun Labs recently had the European Commission over to look at its ideas in these and other areas. Furthermore, after having lost what Sun says is three years or more in the RISC race with the development of SuperSparc, Joy has also been turning his hand to chip design once again, and is said to be helping out with fundamentals such as super pipelining and so on in the latest Sparc RISC development projects.