The term Universal space was established in Computer Science the mid-1960s by John Holland. It refers to a singular system of representation or communication, "as the spaces used in physics to study its various mechanics", to enable our focus on the information processing performed by the active members of the space.
Through the decades many kinds and varieties of common communication or information processing systems have been created to connect disparate applications together. A compiler and operating system permit one function to call another. The RPC, CORBA and myriad network objects frameworks have risen and fallen. Each major rise as been met with great enthusiasm as programmers seek a stable long term environment for inter-process communication.
This category of application frameworks and systems for universal inter-process communication may be called Universal Spaces because their adherents seek to achieve a complementary subset of the goals formalized by John Holland in his seminal work on universal automata.
Today the Web operating system (or 'Greater web operating system') promises to be the stable long term Universal space (the Web universal space) long sought by programmers. Its advantages over alternatives include the openness and ease of use of its text based XML structured data format, and the ubiquity and scalability of HTTP.
- Holland, "Descriptions, Space, and Systems", in Burkes, ed., Essays on Cellular Automata, pp 345- 6, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 1970.