Re: HTTP built on a database engine

Brian Behlendorf (
Mon, 21 Nov 1994 18:26:59 -0800 (PST)

On Thu, 17 Nov 1994, Daniel J. Kurys wrote:
> We are currently developing server technology that integrates database
> and full-text engines for searching indexes of both local and remote
> data. The current design DOES use Sybase. However, it is also cgi-based.
> I would be interested in hearing more discussion of "server dream
> features" that require a non-cgi approach. What did you have in mind?

The key dream feature which is the link to many other dreamt-of features
is turning a web server into a real production and publication system:

* a real revision control system, with backwards mistake-fixing
* documents may have many states, some of which may require that they not
be "public", but readable (and writeable) by a particular group of users
* publication paths can be set to require certain signatures of approval
before being publishable (i.e. the editors and layout people sign off
on it)
* items on the web server are assigned abstract document identifiers, so
inlined images can be referenced by name rather than by relative
location, so URL's don't change even if the document's location does.
* Upon initial submission of an object into the database, the creator is
prompted for things like a title, an author, etc. This information is
needed for non-HTML documents, too.

There are many spinoff benefits. When documents are "published", the
full-text search engines can be incrementally indexed, for example.

Of course other uses for databases would be things like the threaded
discussion space I wrote for HotWired (or a more generalized annotation
system), support for the subscription-based model we use, log file
analysis, or even just a generic API for programmers.


Your slick hype/tripe/wipedisk/zipped/zippy/whine/online/sign.on.the.ish/oil
pill/roadkill/grease.slick/neat.trick is great for what it is. -- Wired Fan #3