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On Sat, 20 Sep 2003, Mike Champion wrote:
> If you took away the text-ness
> but put an alternate standard (or two, or some very
> small number of standards) in its place, how much of
> this implementation efficiency would you lose?
A great deal. I've seen it at OSF DCE, and in some PKI companies
which is all about X.509 ASN.1 and DER. The initial barrier -- you
have to get a good toolkit, know how to use it, accept the "classes"
that it gives you -- is significant, in time and cost. And since it's
a multi-platform world, you have to deal with ports of your tools,
I can debug (or at least reasonably poke at) an XML service with telnet.
That can be a big win.
> much time do "oppers" really spend debugging XML
> streams, and would their productivity suffer if they
> had to use some little tool rather than Notepad do so?
In our experience, yes. We find it very useful to be able to read
packet traces without running them through "dumpasn1" first. When
debugging a production system under tight pressure, the fewer tools
you need the better off you are.
> There are an awful lot of people out there working on
> closed source optimized SOAP-XML parsers
Yes. :) See my .signature, e.g.
> I have enough faith that Sun hires sensible people to
> be fairly sure they tried this before -- probably
> reluctantly -- concluding that ASN.1 has a lot of
We need to be careful; ASN.1 is just an abstract description
language (like Corba IDL, MSIDL, etc). It's the *encodings* --
how you put an ASN.1 Integer on the wire (byte order, etc) that
count. As a tour de force, the "ASN.1 community" can round-trip
from XML schema to asn.1/PER encoding (I think) and back to XML.
That's pretty cool.
> advantages IN THE SPECIAL CASE where all parties know
> the schema of the data on the wire.
For WS, I think it's the common case, actually. Business relationships
don't usually work by someone saying "here's some data for you" without
the other side knowing what the data is. :)
Rich Salz Chief Security Architect
DataPower Technology http://www.datapower.com
XS40 XML Security Gateway http://www.datapower.com/products/xs40.html
XML Security Overview http://www.datapower.com/xmldev/xmlsecurity.html