RE: One for Keith

Joe Barrera (
Sat, 20 Jun 1998 22:58:25 -0700

Hi Ron,

The list is being quiet, so I thought I would reply to you and fill everyone
else's mailbox at the same time. I'm just sitting here learning visual
basic, if you would believe, writing an app that rescues my mail from MSFT's
proprietary *.pst format (used by Outlook and Exchange) and converts it into
normal god-fearing RTF. (Or HTML if you prefer.) In other words, I'm finally
learning how to control Windows apps programmatically, so I can do the
Windows equivalent of piping data through several programs, and wrap the
whole thing up in a single program, or better yet a COM object I can reuse.

I know, why do you care. Well, have you heard of Symbio? It's a project at
NCSA for clustering (as in lots of boxes, as opposed to failover support) on
NT, based on COM. In non-Microsoft speak, the emphasis is on distributing
objects across the cluster instead of programs. So I'm thinking, here's a
case where mobile objects could really have fun. I've done process migration
for programs on clusters, and it always tends to suck, because
programs/processes have their state messily strewn all over the place. But
object migration (e.g., for load balancing) should be a whole lot easier.
I've always sort of known this (Mach was basically object-oriented, and that
helped a lot when I did Mach on the Intel Hypercube & Paragon and wanted to
support migration), but I've suddenly realized that objects are here, and
real, and there's a huge library of objects already out there even on a
WinNT box with Office installed.

Any thoughts? What do you know about Symbio? Do you care about clusters? I
guess I really should post/ask something dist-obj but it's late and I'm
tired and I'm less embarrassed about posting random spew here than on

- Joe