This reminds me a lot of an idea very much in vogue in the late 90s and early 2000s: remote agents. Clients would send little programs called “agents” that would run on the server and get results and return them or effect some change. The server would provide resources and limit access to the agents.
The idea has been invented and reinvented many times. Of the top of my head I can think of General
Magic’s Telescript (almost exactly the same thing), REBOL’s reblets (not really the same thing but kinda), there was something with Java there for a while…
It’s a great idea and I think now that links are fast enough to transfer nontrivial agents essentially instantaneously this idea might be ready for prime time.
lorddimwit, what an interesting piece of history of Software Engineering. So, what happened to the agents, Reblets and Telescripts, why did they die?