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Re: Proposed Infoset Addendum to SOAP Messages with Attachments

From: John J. Barton <John_Barton@hpl.hp.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 10:51:21 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Martin Gudgin" <mgudgin@microsoft.com>, <xml-dist-app@w3.org>

I have discussed this proposal with a few reasonable folks. They came
to a different interpretation of the basic character of this proposal.  So
I'd like to see if I can clarify this basic aspect.

As I understand it, the proposal says that SOAP processing of binary data
will pretend that the data appeared in the SOAP message as base64 encoded
character data.  That is, no matter what the wire format might be, the 
algorithms will act as if the wire format were transformed in to a single long
XML document with the binary parts encoded base64.  This mapping of whatever
wire format into a single document allows one to apply the infoset-based 
model to the single-document-equals-infoset object.  Actual processing need not
create the single document nor ever apply the base64 encoding explicitly.  Is
this the basic idea?

Assuming I understand it then, this proposal provides a more rigorous 
foundation for
the processing of binary data in SOAP messages and it will provide important
guidance for developing the standards in this area.

What I cannot see yet is why the Infoset-mapping process needs base64 at all.
The only real value that we get from mapping binary into base64 is that XML 
can recognize the angle brackets for the end-tag without accidently hitting one
in the binary data.  However we are not actually going to pass the binary 
a base64 encoding and into a parser are we?  So what bad things happen if we
did exactly what the Infoset-addendum suggests, but just forget the base64 


At 09:41 AM 3/25/2003 -0800, Martin Gudgin wrote:

>We have now posted the document illustrating an infoset approach to the
>attachment feature. You can find html[1], pdf[2] and word docs[3]. This
>document is intended to be a concrete realisation of the ideas laid out
>in the white paper at[4].
>Apologies for the delay.
>[1] http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/mgudgin/paswa/paswa.html
>[2] http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/mgudgin/paswa/paswa.pdf
>[3] http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/mgudgin/paswa/paswa.doc
>[4] http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/02/26/binaryxml.html

John J. Barton          email:  John_Barton@hpl.hp.com
MS 1U-17  Hewlett-Packard Labs
1501 Page Mill Road              phone: (650)-236-2888
Palo Alto CA  94304-1126         FAX:   (650)-857-5100
Received on Tuesday, 25 March 2003 13:51:44 UTC

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