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Bob Wyman wrote:
> Just like you, I groaned when I saw the suggestion that you
>could take "wire-protocol" and then just stuff it into memory. This
Not wire-protocol, wire-format = 'the same format as on the wire, in a
file, etc.', the data payload in other words.
I am asserting that it is possible to construct a data format that is
efficient for desired operations that is also compact in memory and
therefore can be input and output as-is without transformation. The
hard part is allowing in-place modifications to be efficient to do and
not result in much or any space overhead. Everything else is done or
could easily be done with other formats. If any data format is
self-describing in the XML sense, I can write a library that allows me
to traverse its structure and retrieve data in an XPath style. ASN.1
and similar IDL systems usually compile into data-specific code, but
even for these formats I could devise metadata that a general purpose
library could use to traverse the resulting structures in an XPath style
to retrieve and convert values.
>might work with text, but it sure as heck doesn't work with binary
>formats or anything that contains an address or offset. The
I can think of several ways to represent an offset that is independant
of a particular architecture and I'm sure you can too.
>distinctions between wire-protocol, in-memory-format, and
>on-disk-format, are fundamental. Every proposal that I've ever seen
Why would the wire format (not wire protocol) and on-disk-format be
different? I'm not talking about the wire-protocol; to the application
the transport just takes a stream of bytes, possibly in chunks, and
returns the same.
>for a "common" format for use in two or more of these contexts has
>ended up failing for one reason or another. As far as stuffing
>wire-protocol into memory goes: Let me just say that *NOBODY* is ever
>going to write to *MY* address space without a great deal of checking
What are you thinking here? Who would be writing into your address
space? DMA from the network directly to application memory? (This does
have some use in high end computing situations, but that's not what I'm
My proposal consists of loading a block (or string of blocks) of data
into a buffer, traversing and reading or modifying that data with a
library, and later possibly writing the resulting buffer out. What
strikes you as dangerous about that?
When you load a buffer of data and feed it to a gzip library to
decompress it, isn't that the same situation on a bulk scale?
>going on... Also, if this problem was as simple as just replacing
>direct addresses with relative addresses, don't people realize that we
That's not what I am doing; my recent example was a proof of concept and
proof of existance of a solution that met the specific requirements
being dicussed: avoidance of parsing and serialization as a separate
step. That doesn't mean that a solution with a relative reference would
be bad, but my main methods are not relative addresses.
Please read about my approach at: http://esxml.org and do point out my
>probably would have figured this out a few decades ago? As an
>industry, we're not so stupid that we would missed something so
>obvious... Some times, the obvious solution is *SO* obvious that it
>must be flawed.
Better famous last words have seldom been spoken. :-)
I see advances every day that cause me to ponder the same question.
I've been programming a fairly long time and, besides horsepower, there
are a lot of things the royal we should have thought of 20 years ago. I
think I was even independantly first on several very popular ideas, but
I didn't act publicly on those.
I can't guaruntee that the best future example of my approach will be
super efficient and an obvious choice, but I have aggregated enough
solutions in my current design that I have convinced myself that it is
possible. I would rather release code than talk about it once I have
some design decisions, this last week notwithstanding. ;-) Later.
> bob wyman
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Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw