3.2 KiB

Structuring the System Layer with Dataspaces

In this project, Dataspace theory will be co-developed with new system layer software in the setting of the user interface to and management of a cellular telephone.

The expected project outcomes are:

  1. A capability-based security model for Dataspaces
  2. A proof-of-concept dataspace-based system layer for a mobile phone
  3. A qualitative evaluation of the suitability of the Dataspace model as structuring principle for system layers

The following artifacts are expected to realise the outcomes of the project:

  1. Documents describing the theory of capabilities as applied to Dataspaces
  2. Dataspace implementations reflecting this theory
  3. Documents analysing the elements of a selection of existing system layers
  4. Protocols capturing a synthesis of system layer behaviours, based on the analysis
  5. A system layer implementation making use of Dataspaces
  6. Associated demos and case studies
  7. A website gathering together all project material
  8. Software releases and developer-focused documentation


  1. ✓✓ Project infrastructure setup

  2. Capability theory

    • Description of Dataspace interaction model augmented with “data-capabilities” authorizing interaction within a dataspace
  3. ✓✓ Rust Dataspace infrastructure

    • Dataspace implementation for dataspace-based Rust programming
    • Implementation of Dataspace protocol in Rust
  4. Smalltalk Dataspace infrastructure

    • Dataspace implementation for dataspace-based Squeak Smalltalk programming
    • Implementation of Dataspace protocol in Smalltalk
  5. ✓✓ Demo of capability-secure Dataspace interaction

  6. PostmarketOS (pmOS) infrastructure

    • pmOS booting on cellphone to modified environment
    • Scripts for packaging of on-phone artifacts
  7. Demo exercising phone infrastructure

  8. Dataspace Protocol specification

    • Draft specification of interaction protocols for secure inter-process and inter-machine dataspace interaction
  9. ✓✓ Dataspace “message bus”

    • Standalone on-phone generic Dataspace “message bus” service for coordinating system-layer activity
    • Implements Dataspace Protocol
  10. Analysis of existing system-layers - Survey of a selection of system-layer components - Classification and categorisation of functionality

  11. Synthesis of system-layer functionality - Development and description of Dataspace interaction protocols capturing system-layer features

  12. Prototyping of Dataspace system layer - Development and description of mobile-phone-specific Dataspace interaction protocols - Development of generic system-layer components - Development of mobile-phone-specific components

  13. Demo exercising realised system layer

  14. Security & accessibility review - Security review of items 8, 9 and 12 would be most worthwhile. - Accessibility review of web content is likely to be trivial; review of the UI content of items 13 and 7 may be worthwhile (though user interface is not a focus of the project).