W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-discuss@w3.org > February 1999

Re: Use of TELNET for testing protocols

From: Michael Mealling <michael@bailey.dscga.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 10:43:39 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199902171543.KAA15133@bailey.dscga.com>
To: jg@pa.dec.com (Jim Gettys)
Cc: joshco@microsoft.com, jpalme@dsv.su.se, discuss@apps.ietf.org
Jim Gettys said this:
> I've dealt with both binary (straight-forward marshalling onto the wire,
> nothing baroque like PER) and text protocols, and have not
> found a particular advantage to either in terms of debugging. To me,
> use of telnet is hardly a compelling argument one way or the other.
> 
> Putting a breakpoint on the stubs on either end in a debugger,
> and dumping the data structures, has often been easier than having
> to scratch my head about syntax being correct (and the generation
> and parsing thereof) in a text based protocol.  Not having the same
> class of parsing bugs in binary implementations helps muchly on their
> side of the equasion.

Just a minor nit, your observation is probably correct when you are
actually writing an implementation of the protocol from scratch. I think
when most of us speak about 'debugging' a server by simply telnetting
to the port is after its been built and we are debugging particular
applications that are using that protocol. Or also in the case where
we do not have debugging access to the server or client (proprietary 
binaries).

Also, from a past sysadmin's point of view, you're never gauranteed to
have the libraries needed to parse a binary protocol on any given client.
Telnet is everywhere....

-MM

Sorry, hard to resist when your particular religion gets tweaked... ;-)

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Received on Wednesday, 17 February 1999 10:55:30 UTC

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