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I cannot answer for "the ASN.1 community", but I would say that ASN.1 work has
been, in the past, mainly dominated (for better or for worse) by people working
for companies that try to make money from ASN.1 tools! Not by academics like me!
The result has been really quite good professional implementations of ASN.1
tools that have been very widely accepted and used for real products, but have
not, in general, been given away for free.
However, in recent years, bona fide academics (and those involved in
standardisation) have been able to obtain the very best professional ASN.1 tools
for personal use, and for use by their students in projects. The ASN.1
Consortium encourages all tool vendors to make a similar provision for Standards
work and for academic projects.
At least one major vendor is now saying that pricing of their ASN.1/XML product
is being based on volume sales rather than on niche market sales, for return on
This is a difficult area, and I would prefer not to be drawn into further
comment until ASN.1 tool vendors have commented.
Robin Berjon wrote:
> Hi John,
> John Larmouth wrote:
>> I am not a tool vendor, and will leave the tool vendors to comment
>> further, but please recognise that in the climate of the 1980s, which
>> may be where much of the "my experience is" may be coming from,
>> open-source was not an established reality, and free software was
>> generally only available as the result of masters students' projects
>> at universities, and frequently only provided for things that could be
>> implemented in the time-frame of such projects.
> Yes, I well understand that while today it is almost unthinkable to
> produce a (RF) specification that does not have an open source
> implementation it might not have always been thus. However, what
> intrigues me most is not the absence of open source implementations, but
> rather the absence of open source projects around ASN.1 that implement
> at least a sizeable chunk of the ASN.1 body of specifications and/or
> have a sufficiently active community working towards that goal. I would
> like to know if the ASN.1 community has insights into this situation.
Prof John Larmouth
Larmouth T&PDS Ltd
(Training and Protocol Development Services Ltd)
1 Blueberry Road
Cheshire WA14 3LS
Tel: +44 161 928 1605 Fax: +44 161 928 8069