Re: What would be a truly relational operating system ?

From: Cimode <>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 13:02:20 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On 13 nov, 16:56, paul c <> wrote:
> Cimode wrote:
> > On 11 nov, 05:39, paul c <> wrote:
> ...
> >> There have been a few embedded special-purpose OS's that had minimal
> >> (ie., only the essential) logical and coherent programmer interfaces.
> >> If I had to give the main design goal of an OS, that is it.  But there
> >> is a big difference between an interface to hardware and an interface to
> >> a logical machine. Probably none of today's mainsteam OS's could adapt.
> >>   Unix originally had what Fred Brooks called 'conceptual integrity' or
> >> suchlike with its file-stream metaphor but like the others you mention,
> >> it certainly doesn't have any comprehensive foundation theory akin to
> >> relational algebra and the emphasis remains physical, with lots of
> >> physical device library functions, each expressed in terms of the
> >> device's characteristics or the underlying machine language.  In theory,
> >> such a base, if it existed, would offer similar advantages to a
> >> relational dbms, tight definition, logical rules for manipulation and
> >> therefore prediction and correctness proof.
> > Could you give me some pointers.  As far as I know, logical storage
> > mechanisms were never designed with the purpose of reducing runtime
> > declarative representation of relations. IN order words ra never made
> > it into storage physical data retrieval.
> > ...
> I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.  There was a snow-flurry of them and
> various special OS extensions in the 1980's.  Didn't have much to do
> with them and can't remember the names, although I recall one of the
> special-purpose languages for one of them was Forth, something from
> Xerox Parc too.  This was before it was clear that the Intel instruction
> sets would dominate, even before MicroSoft started selling mice (about
> the same time as Prolog was being criticized for not being able to
> update a database).

I came to think that the creation of a low level *relation extractor subsystem* would be the basic step to build a truly relational OS. The extractor would allow the following:

> Organize metadata physically on disk according to an algorhythmics that minimizes the IO's required to transfer all necessary information into RAM necessary to rebuild the relation progressively
> Based on already RAM loaded catalog information, Process the metadata on the fly to reconstitute a specific type of presentation (file, table, stream)
> Physical independence would truly be implemented since only metadata is stored on disk and the file is only a relation representation. One advantage would be that the same information could be used for various presentation. Another one would be that the metadata *can* be compressed through a storage algorhythmics that is intervall based(one of the few credible discoveries about Transrelational Model) as opposed to direct image system general algoryhthmics. In such perspective, it is highly likely that the main drawback would remain the physical adressing scheme of current memory chips. On the other I don't see CPU as a big issue appart except for the caching part which'd require a particular buffering algorhythmics.
Received on Fri Nov 13 2009 - 15:02:20 CST

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