NODAL: A Filesystem for Ubiquitous Collaboration

by Lee Iverson (SRI International)

NODAL is designed as a general, document-oriented distributed database with a data model that allows addressing, searching and linking of content of any kind from any document. The data model defines documents as directed graphs of content nodes and provides adaptable addressing, security, privacy and version control at the granularity of these nodes. Moreover, it is built on a distributed client-server (or peer-to-peer) communication model that seamlessly shifts from synchronous, real-time interaction to asynchronous or intermittently-connected interaction. Finally, it is designed to extensibly, support a wide range of input and output formats so that it will interoperate easily with systems using existing standard document formats and exchange protocols, including even applications unaware of its existence. It is hoped that this simple system will become a standard, universal component of the infrastructure of information management and exchange and thus allow for flexible, productive collaboration between willing people for any purpose, anywhere, using any tools.

I will describe the system design and status, including plans for prototype implementations in Java and C++.

See also the NODAL project page at

Back to the LCI Forum page