Distributed resources workshop announcement
RFC 504

Document Type RFC - Unknown (April 1973; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                     Bob Thomas
RFC # 504                                                 BBN
NIC # 16155                                               April 30, 1973

                         Workshop Announcement

Title: Automated Resource Sharing on the ARPANET

Date:  Monday May 21, 1973

Time:  9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Place: Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

Hosts: TENEX and TIP Groups at BBN


This workshop will focus on various aspects of the question:

    What steps can be taken to automate access to the distributed
    resources on the ARPANET?

In particular, how can we move from where we are today toward an
environment which facilitates resource sharing by moving the burden of
dealing with the network from the human user to processes which act on
his behalf?  Additionally, operating systems themselves perform various
operations not directly initiated by human users which could better be
performed with the availability of resources on other systems (e.g.
file system backup); how can we move toward an environment which
facilitates such system-system cooperation?

Objectives of Workshop:

1.  To identify and clarify the issues raised by automated resource
    What are the obstacles preventing more widespread resource sharing
    on the ARPANET?  Are they technical, political, administrative in
    nature?  Is it that there are few resources worth sharing (we don't
    think so)?  Is automated sharing a bad idea (We don't think so)?

Thomas                                                          [Page 1]
RFC 504                  Workshop Announcement                April 1973

2.  To identify resources at various network sites appropriate for
    automated sharing; and to identify the need for resources which
    don't but should exist.

3.  To formulate a series of experiments for the purpose of evaluating
    relative merits and disadvantages of different approaches to
    automating resource sharing.
    The intent of such experimentation is to gain experience through
    construction and use of prototype systems which support automated

Format of Workshop:


In order to get the workshop "up to speed", each participant will be
expected to give a brief presentation of relevant work he (his site) is
currently engaged in, is planning to do, or to identify and discuss
issues he feels are relevant to the subject.  Time will be allowed for
brief discussion after each presentation.


General discussion of the issues raised during the morning session.
Possible subjects for discussion include (but need not be limited to):

1.  Identification of possible multi-site "services".
    Intersite mail, terminal linking, status information are some
    examples - what are others?

2.  Identification of resources appropriate for remote utilization.
    File systems, compilers, on-line query systems, manuscript
    preparation systems are some examples - what are others?

3.  Access to remote resources.
    Possibility of access paths other than the standard logger port.  To
    what extent (if at all) can the access paths to a variety of
    different resources be standardized?  How can resources which may
    move from Host to Host or may be available on several Hosts be
    dynamically located and selected for use?  The need for
    (desirability of) a "broadcast ICP".

4.  Problems of accounting for resource utilization.
    Some form of network wide accounting would be a great convenience.
    For example, it would be nice if a user could use the same account
    at many (all?) sites.  What are the problems (if any) preventing

Thomas                                                          [Page 2]
RFC 504                  Workshop Announcement                April 1973

5.  Problems of security and access control.
    Authentication of users/processes attempting to use resources.  As
    with network wide accounts, the ability to use the same name and
    password at all sites would be convenient.  How can a user's
    password and other sensitive data be protected in such an
    The notion of a third party password validation and user
    authentication service.

6.  Approaches to automating resource sharing.
    It is possible without difficulty to identify several which on the
    surface appear to be different:

    a.  Multi-site executive programs which make resources accessible to
        the user at the command language level; e.g.  the inter-site,
        user-user interaction and file maintenance activity supported by
        the RSEXEC.
    b.  A programming language environment designed to facilitate
        resource sharing; e.g. LISP is a machine independent language -
        one could imagine a multi-computer LISP system which supported
        automated resource sharing.
    c.  The "collect a resource" approach - identify an Editor here,
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