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nameserv::protocol - Name service facility, client/server protocol

Table Of Contents


Bind name data
Search pattern
Search/Continuous/Start tag pattern
Search/Continuous/Stop tag
Search/Continuous/Change tag add|remove response


The packages nameserv::server, nameserv, and nameserv::common provide a simple unprotected name service facility for use in small trusted environments.

Please read Name service facility, introduction first.

This document contains the specification of the network protocol which is used by client and server to talk to each other, enabling implementations of the same protocol in other languages.

Nano Name Service Protocol Version 1

This protocol defines the basic set of messages to be supported by a name service, also called the Core feature.

Basic Layer

The basic communication between client and server is done using the remote-execution protocol specified by the Tcl package comm. The relevant document specifying its on-the-wire protocol can be found in comm_wire.

All the scripts exchanged via this protocol are single commands in list form and thus can be interpreted as plain messages instead of as Tcl commands. The commands/messages specified in the next section are the only commands understood by the server-side. Command and variable substitutions are not allowed within the messages, i.e. arguments have to be literal values.

The protocol is synchronous. I.e. for each message sent a response is expected, and has to be generated. All messages are sent by the client. The server does not sent messages, only responses to messages.

Message Layer

Nano Name Service Protocol Extension: Continuous Search

This protocol defines an extended set of messages to be supported by a name service, also called the Search/Continuous feature. This feature defines additional messages between client and server, and is otherwise identical to version 1 of the protocol. See the last section for the details of our foundation.

A service supporting this feature has to put the feature name Search/Continuous into the list of features returned by the message ProtocolFeatures.

For this extension the protocol is asynchronous. No direct response is expected for any of the messages in the extension. Furthermore the server will start sending messages on its own, instead of only responses to messages, and the client has to be able to handle these notifications.

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category nameserv of the Tcllib Trackers. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.

When proposing code changes, please provide unified diffs, i.e the output of diff -u.

Note further that attachments are strongly preferred over inlined patches. Attachments can be made by going to the Edit form of the ticket immediately after its creation, and then using the left-most button in the secondary navigation bar.


comm_wire(n), nameserv(n), nameserv::server(n)


comm, name service, protocol




Copyright © 2007-2008 Andreas Kupries