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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: XML-Dev Mailing list <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 09:00:53 -0400

Are folks here watching the development of the Blocks Extensible Exchange
Protocol?  I've seen BXXP described as 'HTTP on steroids', but it looks
like it may well be something else entirely, and perhaps more appropriate
to XML exchanges on various scales.

I wrote a blip on xmlhack.com about it yesterday, when the IETF chartered a
working group:

This morning I woke up to find three new Internet-Drafts:

On the Design of Application Protocols

The Blocks eXtensible eXchange Protocol Framework

Mapping the BXXP Framework onto TCP

Here's a blip from 'On the Design of Application Protocols' regarding XML:

>We chose XML as the default because it provides a simple mechanism
>for nested, textual representations. (Alas, the 822-style encoding
>doesn't easily support nesting.) By design, XML's nature isn't
>optimized for compact representations. That's okay because we're
>focusing on loosely-coupled systems and besides there are efficient
>XML parsers available. Further, there's a fair amount of anecdotal
>experience -- and we'll stress the word "anecdotal" -- that if you
>have any kind of compression (either at the link-layer or during
>encryption), then XML encodings squeeze down nicely.
>Even so, use of XML is probably the most controversial part of BXXP.
>After all, there are more efficient representations around. We
>agree, but the real issue isn't efficiency, it's ease of use: there
>are a lot of people who grok the XML thing and there are a lot of
>XML tools out there. The pain of recreating this social
>infrastructure far outweighs any benefits of devising a new
>representation. So, if the "make" option is too expensive, is there
>something else we can "buy" besides XML? Well, there's ASN.1/BER
>(just kidding).

This is very intriguing work!

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: blocks
      • From: Steve Harris <sharris@primus.com>
    • Re: blocks
      • From: "Dave Winer" <dave@userland.com>


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