New paper: "Distributed Electronic Rights in JavaScript"

Mike Samuel mikesamuel at
Wed Mar 6 13:04:20 PST 2013

2013/1/15 David Bruant <bruant.d at>:
> Hi Mark,
> I have a couple of comments:
> * On the share-nothing model
> This comment goes beyond the paper, but I think is relevant for future work.
> Practice of the event loop model in JavaScript has proven that the
> share-nothing model has limitations. In my opinion, one of the reasons
> WebWorkers aren't used is that the share-nothing model imposes to copy data
> when one wants 2 WebWorkers to communicate.
> This resulted in the addition of Transferable objects in JavaScript [1].
> Rust introduced the notion of unique pointer [2] for equivalent reasons.
> Adding a notion of (implicit) ownership could be a lead to follow
> (especially for the event loop work in ES7). It would however create a
> breach in the uniform vat model which abstracts out whether 2 vats are on
> the same machine or not. But I think it's a worthwhile addition.
> * Web-key
> It's probably a nit, but worth mentioning. Web-keys like
> only work on the web with a web
> application taking the fragment and building another url like
> with it, because the fragment
> part of a URL is a client-side only thing and is never sent over the
> network.

Indeed.  The spec even says that is specifically to prevent access
control based on fragments:

RFC 3986 says in section 3.5

   this separate handling is often perceived to be a loss of
   information, particularly for accurate redirection of references as
   resources move over time, it also serves to prevent information
   providers from denying reference authors the right to refer to
   information within a resource selectively.

So a client that has a URI can make authorization decisions based on
the fragment, but the server, by design, cannot.

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