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RE: "Binary XML" proposals
- From: Miles Sabin <MSabin@interx.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 22:57:53 +0100
David Brownell wrote,
> Miles Sabin wrote,
> > David Brownell wrote,
> > > Binary formats are bad because they tend towards being
> > > proprietary, and that's the last thing that should happen to
> > > the world's next "intellectual commons".
> > True in the document world, perhaps. But not so obviously true
> > in the protocol world. For example, DNS question and answer
> > payloads are an example of an open, structured, binary format.
> I'm fully aware. But you also ought to consider exactly how
> open and extensible DNS is -- by seeing whether you can
> get to two hands when you count implementations (BIND,
> and hardly any other servers), and extensions (rare).
If you mean particular identifiable implementations, then no,
not unless I'm allowed to count BINDs 4, 8, and 9 separately.
But there are many, many more: client only implementations
embedded in OSs, web browsers and other network clients and
servers; and specialized servers developed and used by various
segments of the network infrastructure community (CDN, firewall,
Interoperability isn't simply due to a lack of diversity.
> Basically, every binary RPC protocol I've ever seen has been
> converted, sooner or later, into a conduit for proprietary
> platforms. Fragmenting a previously-unified (XML=text)
> world by creating a binary variant seems a fine start, for any
> organizations wanting to head that direction.
> There's also the "out of sight, out of mind" issue. Once things
> get binary, the number of people who can detect mistakes (much
> less shenanigans!) declines by orders of magnitude. That means
> that interop becomes more fragile; which also pushes things
> towards proprietary behaviors/bugsets.
I understand your concern, and I share it. But I think you're
overestimating the extent to which text is a defence. Beyond the
denizens of this list, what proportion of the XML aware would
realize that there was something wrong with,
and would reject it in favour of the base64 equivalent if all
they ever had to deal with were evilvendors parsers?
Miles Sabin InterX
Internet Systems Architect 5/6 Glenthorne Mews
+44 (0)20 8817 4030 London, W6 0LJ, England