So I’ve begun my research with Hans Reiser’s The Naming System Venture whitepaper, which is now no longer available online. Unfortunately the Wayback Machine doesn’t provide the diagrams, so unless I can find anyone with a mirror of it (so far unsuccessful) then I shall just have to do without them. Incidentally, I am also writing it up again myself, so I will make a PDF available here.
The more I read and re-read this paper, the clearer some of my own ideas become, and it seems to me that my initial intuition that I would have to write my own database system seems more valid. The only thing is that I had been thinking in terms of a relational database, as that is all that I have really had experience. I have plans for multiple indexes (or indices, whichever plural you prefer) linking into the data, with particular optimisations for finding distinct items.
I have also found an interesting project by a student called Onne Gorter at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands, written in August 2004. He aimed to create a database filesystem in O’Caml, integrated fairly tightly with KDE. He took quite a different approach to me, which is refreshing and reassuring, but he also took my planned name. Now I need a better one… but he has a useful bibliography, which may indicate some further items to read.
Finally, I have also briefly investigated Google’s BigTable system, and that also has some interesting ideas. I shall have to consider this further. Maybe later I will write a post explaining some of the things in my DBFS journal, a.k.a. The Book Of The Project.
And still the research continues.