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ASN.1 and XML

On 24 May 2001, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> You've been making claims that ASN.1 is competition for XML.  I'd like
> to see some backing for those claims.

I was just getting caught up on my email and noticed the above.

Al's view is one way of looking at ASN.1 and XML.  Others, such as myself,
view ASN.1 and XML as complementing each other very nicely.  ASN.1 makes
it possible to encode XML markups very compactly using the Packed Encoding
Rules (PER) of ASN.1, while XML makes it possible to use common browsers
to view messages encoded in PER or other ASN.1 encoding rules such as BER
or DER.  More specifically, the coupling of ASN.1 and XML makes it
possible for us to use XML with bandwidth-critical applications (such as
wireless) that today XML cannot touch, or where current solutions for
compacting XML messages leave much to be desired.

Both ASN.1 and XML bring useful capabilities to the table, and the
coupling of them to take advantage of the best that both have to
offer is the best solution.  For this reason the ITU-T | ISO/IEC ASN.1
Committee is in the process of making changes to ASN.1, to come up
with a solution that is better than ASN.1 or XML by itself is capable
of providing.