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some questions and comments on draft-barbir-opes-spcs-01.txt

2002-03-28 14:24:53

Hi, Paul -- 

Just went through draft-barbir-opes-spcs-01.txt. Sorry that I couldn't do
that earlier -- Looks like I got a lot to catch up.

First of all, I am not sure that I fully understand the exact role of the
OPES Service Personalization Callout Server (SPCS) and how it should be
treated in the OPES framework. My understanding of the draft is that, to
achieve service personalizaiton, we actually need to deploy two kinds of
callout servers within the OPES framework. One is the SPCS, its role is to
generate dynamic rule modules to upload onto the OPES intermediary based
upon subscriber profile and content profile. But the actual rules (which are
dynamically generated by SPCS) will possibly invoke some content adaptation
service that is to be carried out by the Callout Server (per the diagram
depicted in Figure 1 on page 12). These Callout Servers are the second kind
of callout servers. At the surface, both are callout servers and should be
treated as such by the OPES framework. However, they are VERY different in
what they actually do. 

In my mind, callout servers only do adaptation service for the content, they
don't control/alter the behavior of OPES intermediary (the engine). So only
the second kinds are the real callout servers in that sense. The first kind
(SPCS) is not, at least not according to my understanding of the callout
server definition. Allowing a callout server to dynamically upload or delte
rules from the OPES engine sounds like asking trouble to me. Allowing them
to adapt the content is already a riksy business! This is 10 times worse
than that. To me, SPCS sounds much more like one instance of the OPES admin
server. Admin Server is the entity that can control/alter the behavior of
OPES engine and it requires a much tighter security/trust model between the
Admin Server and the OPES engine. . 

The description of the SPCS's functions are very much the same as the Admin
Server, but with some important exceptions -- the purpose of SPCS is much
narrower of the Admin Server; and there is the "real-time, in the content
path" aspect of SPCS that is not required (in general) by the Admin Server.
My understanding is that SPCS needs to generate and upload the dynamic rules
in real time at the beginning of the "SP-session", and then SPCS is not
involved for the rest of the session before its termination, is it correct?
At the middle of the session, the rules that is just uploaded would govern
the actual content adaption (for personalization). It seems that somewhere
the text also suggests the profile might change mid-session and does that
mean the rules will be generated again mid-session?

Maybe I misunderstand the whole concept -- otherwise, I have some serious
concern about some of these issues. 


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