RE: XML Binary Interchange Workshop - minutes available
I must admit that I'm a bit confused by the concerns that were expressed about the dangers of having more than one or two interchangeable concrete syntaxes. There seemed to have been people who were afraid that this would somehow cause problems of interoperability... Yet, the issue of multiple concrete syntaxes is very similar to issues that we've often successfully dealt with in many other protocols. The solution is simple: Define minimum functionality and then allow for negotiation to establish alternatives. This is the model that is used with things like SASL. While SASL allows a wide variety of methods to deal with authentication or confidentiality, well written specifications that rely on SASL typically state that while implementations are free to use any method that supports SASL, they MUST implement some minimum set. For example, in the APEX specification (RFC-3340), it is said that while alternatives are possible, all conforming implementations must support at least TLS_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA. See Section 11 of RFC-3340. Why can't we solve this multiple syntax issue in the same way? Simply write specifications that require that conforming implementations MUST support the XML encoding but MAY also support alternative formats. Such a rule would allow me to write a server (actually we're already doing this) that can "talk XML" to just about anyone, but will allow clients that I write to conserve bandwidth by communicating in the very compact PER encoding. As far as my code is concerned, since I'm using an ASN.1 based system, there is no difference between the XML and the PER. As far as others are concerned, they don't have to know that I support PER today or might support some other binary format tommorrow. People who like XML see an XML service, people who like compact encodings get to send and receive binary PER. Why are multiple encodings a problem as long as a common encoding is provided to allow interoperability? bob wyman
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