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RE: Parameterization of Transforms

From: John Boyer <jboyer@uwi.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 09:46:14 -0700
To: "Donald E. Eastlake 3rd" <dee3@torque.pothole.com>, "DSig Group" <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>
Cc: "Joseph M. Reagle Jr." <reagle@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NDBBLAOMJKOFPMBCHJOIGEOKCBAA.jboyer@uwi.com>
Hi Don and Joseph,

Between your emails, you've really pointed out, at least to me, that the
parameters are pretty much a useless waste of characters in general, not
just in transforms.  Here are the three things we're talking about:

Don: <Parameter type="urn:ietf-org:hmac-truncation-length>128</Parameter>

Joseph (sans xmlns):
<Parameter>
   <truncation-length>128</truncation-length>
<Parameter>

John: <truncation-length>128</truncation-length>

Put any of these three inside of an element and they mean the same thing.
Wrapping a parameter tag around it  just wastes characters.  Of course it is
a parameter to the algorithm, so saying it adds no information value.  The
way I see it, we are using XML to represent a function call.  Consider the
analogous case of using XML to represent a data record (heterogeneous
conglomeration of data grouped together for some purpose).  For example,
suppose it represents an item of inventory.  You would have:

<item>
	<name>Television, 19 inch, Color</name>
	<serialno>123456</serialno>
	<unitcost>100</unitcost>
	<price>300</price>
	...
</item>

What you're proposing for function parameters is analogous to wrapping all
of the subelements in the item above in 'field' elements, as follows:

Don:
<item>
	<field type="name">Television, 19 inch, Color</field>
	<field type="serialno">123456</field>
	<field type="unitcost">100</field>
	<field type="price">300</field>
	...
</item>

Joseph (sans xmlns):
<item>
	<field>
		<name>Television, 19 inch, Color</name>
	</field>
	<field>
		<serialno>123456</serialno>
	</field>
	<field>
		<unitcost>100</unitcost>
	</field>
	<field>
		<price>300</price>
	</field>
	...
</item>

Clearly, this is not useful.

John Boyer
Software Development Manager
UWI.Com -- The Internet Forms Company
Received on Friday, 29 October 1999 12:46:41 GMT

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