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RE: csp as database query language

CSP, from the dumb (in my case, very dumb) user's point of view.

I don't know how many of you track the developments in the directions
taken by Microsoft?

In case you have not spotted their direction in this area, their new
filing system (around 2005) will be based on SQL server.

This is quite logical, as the only way to move into real distributed
document sharing and collaboration is when you have a database (Oracle
have built a business on this). All the collaboratibe web site stuff I
do is based on this (documents sit in the database, but in my case, the
files still exist as files and have a dummy document that sits in the

If you now look at "global" databases being your filing system, a few
issues spring to mind

1) security
2) auditing
3) locking

For these, being able to reason mathematically and have proofs on
security and auditing will be essential, considering the way laws are
evolving on data protection and related issues.

(I have to observe that much of the effort I spend trying to stop
viruses and  security breaches on my system would vanish if only
Microsoft had a CSP model of their firewall (first Proxy 2, now ISA)
when running on Backoffice SBS server - at least I would be able to see
what data can flow where. For those of you who do not know of this
product, it is a package for small businesses, and it is a great
product. The downside, is that all the components must run on the same
server. What they do not tell you, is that when running on the same
server, most of the server services actually bypass the firewall (which
in itself has at least 3 parallel paths through it). I only discovered
this last year when the Digispid worm got in, so I ended up buying a
Symantec hardware firewall so that I could at least stop this multiple
paths). Have you ever tried to find a book or technical document that
even has a flow diagram in it these days?

Now that we are all in a connected world, where are the tools to allow
us to reason and rationalise how things are working (and in most cases,
not working). It seems to me (a poor simple user) that CSP offers an
easily understood model that works and can be understood by everyone
from the system architects down to the simple users.

So, why do we not see nice CSP models describing how systems work?
Answers on a postcard to....

Tony Gore

email  tony@xxxxxxxxxxxx (alternative if problems
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-----Original Message-----
From: A E Lawrence [mailto:A.E.Lawrence@xxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: 15 March 2003 14:25
To: Campbell, John
Cc: occam-com@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: csp as database query language

Campbell, John wrote:
> Dear All
> The mindset of most people using CSP (or manifestations
> of it like OCCAM) is to write programs to *make* something happen.  
> I've been thinking the last few days that there might be a useful 
> alternative interpretation.
> It seems to me that you could write a CSP description of
> a *hypothetical* process that might be at work in a large data base.  
> You could do a probablistic analysis to see how many matches you'd 
> expect in a random system, and test the csp with the real system to 
> see actual matches.

My only comment is that there is a great deal of theoretical work on 
probabilistic CSP. Gavin Lowe among others has worked on this. I don't
enough about it to know how it relates to your ideas. And Jon K might
to comment on CSP and databases...