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Re: The use of binary data in any part of HTTP 2.0 is not good

From: 陈智昌 <willchan@chromium.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2013 16:07:08 -0800
Message-ID: <CAA4WUYh46zTHXY_gYCsmVgFa1UdE85yUnzkVMO6AmVOrP1_4rA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Nico Williams <nico@cryptonector.com>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
I'd like to point out it seems highly likely you misread my email.
When I said the same, I was referring to bohe and header compression
from a human's perspective. You may want to read earlier on in the
email thread where I was one of the first to respond saying:

"There are many advantages to using binary data. If you would like a
textual representation of a protocol, I advise using a utility to
generate one for you."

and also recommended debugging utilities like spdyshark and spdycat as
examples of what we've done with SPDY.

On Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Nico Williams <nico@cryptonector.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM, William Chan (陈智昌)
> <willchan@chromium.org> wrote:
>> [...] Yes, maybe some humans will internalize a binary encoding of
>> headers and be able to grok hexdumps, but to the vast majority of
>> people, it's basically the same.
> Nah, we have plenty of packet capture parsers (Netmon, Wireshark,
> tcpdump, snoop, ...).  Wireshark, in particular, is very easy to write
> new plugins for, and it's portable.
> I'm with Roberto too: it's not really true that textual protocols are
> easier to debug, at least not now that we have extensible packet
> capture inspection tools.  Further, textual protocols may inhibit the
> creation of dissectors for them ("it's text already, what you do need
> a dissector for?"), which makes them harder to inspect than binary
> protocols.
> We can probably apply a lot of minimal encodings of header values (and
> header names) in a textual way, but the result would be nearly as
> incomprehensible (without tools) to a human as a hex dump of a binary
> protocol.  So merely trying to do as best as we can while retaining a
> textual nature seems likely to lead to either few gains or a protocol
> that's as [in]scrutable as a binary version.
> Finally, as others have pointed out, human-readable textual protocols
> are likely to allow lots of variations that complicate parsers, thus
> being a cause of bugs.
> Nico
> --
Received on Monday, 21 January 2013 00:07:35 UTC

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