W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xml-binary@w3.org > November 2004

Re: Non-XML binary formats.

From: Paul Thorpe <thorpe@oss.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 09:05:15 -0800 (PST)
To: David Ryan <david@einet.com.au>
cc: "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw@lig.net>, bob@wyman.us, public-xml-binary@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0411300855160.22258@fortress.oss.com>

On Tue, 30 Nov 2004, David Ryan wrote:

> 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
> encoding)?
> 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.

I don't understand why you say ASN.1 never took hold.  It is used in
things you use every day.  It is in every cell phone.  It is in every
digital signature (even the "XML" ones since they reference X.509 which
uses ASN.1).  It is in AudioVideo over the internet (H.323, H.245 and
others).  It is used in Credit Card transactions over the internet.  It is
used by several major shipping companies to collect and provide you with
tracking information when you send or receive packages.  I can go on with
many more areas in which it is used (including Air to Ground
communications in the Avaiation industry).


> Regards,
> David Ryan.
> www.einet.com.au
> 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 17:05:52 UTC

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