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   XML and ASN.1

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I'd like to thank everyone here for what seems to be the first
wide-ranging conversation we've had on the relations between XML and
ASN.1.  I'm also happy to see so many ASN.1 people here, which I think
is a large part of why prior conversations didn't go this far.  It feels
like a new community has joined this list, and maybe broken us out of
the usual cycles/circles of discussion.

It looks like ASN.1 has come a long ways toward meeting XML, though I
think it's also successfully remained ASN.1.  That's a good thing.

I'm wondering if there are additional ways we can cross-pollinate these
two specs.  Right now I'm worried that we're mostly shouting at each
other.  Shouting is good, certainly, but it seems like there are enough
people here with enough in common that maybe we can move beyond that

It looks to me like the ASN.1 folks have sought and essentially achieved
interoperability with XML at the standards level.  So far, it seems like
the free software culture that's been a driving force in XML hasn't
permeated into (corrupted?) ASN.1, so a lot of XML folks aren't quite as
enthusiastic about trying out the ASN.1 waters as the ASN.1 community
would like them to be.

I'd love to take a month off and write some XML-like tools for working
with ASN.1, notably parsers and writers.  Unfortunately, there's no way
I can do that at the moment - I'm having enough trouble getting my work
done while working weekends.  (xml-dev activity counts as rest breaks to
me, oddly enough.)

Are there projects out there which can bridge the gaps between XML
(free, parser model) and ASN.1 (pay, data binding model)?  I'd really
love to see some sprout.  I think there are still going to be impedance
mismatches, but the best way to find out is to try it.  The specs seem
to be there, but the experience with the XML/ASN.1 combination is just
getting started.


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