The following figure shows the kernel components of the Distributed Information System, the road map and how far I am today. The items in black are implemented and operational and the items in gray still needs to be implemented. Progress is going clockwise :).
OID An OID is to DIS what the URL is to the web. It is a unique, binary encoded and non reusable reference to an information published in the distributed information system. It was the first tile I designed and implemented. Its simplicity is inversely proportional to the time and effort required to invent it because I had to explore and compare many different possible and existing solutions.
IDR It is to DIS what HTML or XML is to the web. IDR is the Information Data Representation used in DIS. It is a stream oriented encoding with support of object serialization and exceptions. The prototype implementation is currently being fully rewritten. It still miss the ability to specify the encoding version or a formalization of data description. The later is required to be able to display data in a human readable format or to automatically generate data manipulation functions or containers mapped to different programming languages.
DITP It is to DIS what HTTP is to the web. It is the protocol used to exchange information or invoke remote actions in DIS. It is very simple, modular and extensible through the use of dynamically configurable data processing tasks. Support of compression, authentication or encryption is then provided by some kinds of plugins. The protocol use the object oriented model with remote method invocation. The current prototype does not yet support concurrent asynchronous method invocation.
DIS DIS stands here for Distributed Information Service and is not to be confused with Distributed Information System. It is fundamental to DIS, so a confusion is not really a problem. This service combines the properties of DNS and LDAP and would be a new kind of service on the Internet. I can't disclose more on it because it is still in development. A first prototype has been implemented unfortunately proving the need to support data description.
SEC This part covers authentication and access control in DIS. It requires a functional DIS service. An interesting feature is that it is designed to scale up so that a service could cope with millions of different users without having to keep track of million accounts and passwords.
IDX It is a service simply mapping human readable UTF8 strings to OID references. It is equivalent to the list of named entries in a directory. Like any other services, its access is controlled by ACL and can thus be modified remotely with appropriate privileges. An index may be huge with multiple alternate entry point, exactly like the DNS but exclusively as a flat name space. The OID associated to the UTF8 string is stored in an object so that polymorphism allow to associate images (icons) and other informations to entries by extension.
DIR It is a graph of IDX services with one root entry. Services or information published in DIS can then be referenced by a humanly readable path in the IDX graph relative to the root.
It is an ambitious project but, I am convinced, its added value is worth the effort. I wish I could work full time on this project with the help of some other developers, but this would require funding I don't have access to for now.
An application would help demonstrating the added value of the system. I'm still looking for one with an optimal balance in development effort and success potential.