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Re: Non-XML binary formats.

From: David Ryan <david@einet.com.au>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 11:01:02 +1100
Message-ID: <41ABB83E.1030309@einet.com.au>
To: "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw@lig.net>
CC: bob@wyman.us, public-xml-binary@w3.org

It seems that I've openned up a is ASN.1 good enough debate.  I'm 
guessing this debate has been going on for a while already. :)

I have briefly looked at ASN.1 in the past and found it wasn't what I 
was looking for.  This was one of the reasons I wrote Argot.   But I'm 
surprised there is so little choice around for this problem; especially 
given that the problem of developing and agreeing upon a data format or 
schema is so fundamental.  Just to reiterate my question in a slightly 
different way.  Is there no other binary format around, that is not 
ASN.1 and is not a simple binary formated XML(ie A binary encoding that 
is flexible and that has schema properties to describe the format of the 

Also, I agree with Stephen in response to Bob, I think the attitutude 
that nothing better than ASN.1 will come along is wrong. I may be 
somewhat biased having developed Argot, however,  ASN.1 was around for a 
long time before XML and it never took hold.  I don't believe ASN.1 was 
even the basis for CORBA's IIOP which has appeared and then somewhat 
disapeared since.  It has had a long time to get attention, but 
obviously something is missing.  I don't know enough of the history of 
ASN.1 to know what that is though.

David Ryan.

Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> After 20+ years, ASN.1 related software and standards haven't evolved 
> and become available in ways that satisfy many current requirements or 
> developers.  There are many reasons for this.
> Could you point me to free, public specifications of those encoding 
> format details and the ASN.1 schema definition semantics?
> sdw
> Bob Wyman wrote:
>> David Ryan wrote:
>>> I'd be interested if anyone is working on, or knows of binary 
>>> formats with similar characteristics of binary XML
>>> but is not based on XML?
>>     The encoding formats that have been defined for ASN.1 are the
>> "classic" binary formats that you would want to study. ASN.1, the 
>> "abstract
>> syntax notation 1", has been around for something like 20 years now 
>> and can
>> be used to define a wide variety of formats including text based formats
>> like XML as well as the binary formats BER, PER, DER, etc. ASN.1 is most
>> commonly known as the schema language for SNMP, X.500 Security 
>> Certificates,
>> etc. Also, ASN.1 is relied on heavily by the telecommunications 
>> industry.     In my opinion, the most logical thing for the W3C to do 
>> is accept
>> ASN.1 as an XML Schema language (it's use as one is defined by 
>> international
>> ISO standards) and to rely on the 20 years of development by the ASN.1
>> community in developing and supporting binary formats. We don't need
>> yet-another-standard format and it is unlikely that any new effort is 
>> going
>> to be able to satisfy any larger community then the ASN.1 effort has 
>> been
>> able to address in 20 years of listening to and responding to 
>> requirements.
>>         bob wyman
Received on Tuesday, 30 November 2004 00:01:13 UTC

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