[erlang-questions] Newbie training project proposal

Ulf Wiger <>
Sat Sep 15 08:17:16 CEST 2007


2007/9/14, David Mercer <>:
> On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> > Do protocol designers turn off their brains when they design protocols?
> >
> > I see a lot of the following:
> >
> >    - text protocols with are "easy" to understand and parse
> >      (false - most text protocols are inadequately specified)
>
> One advantage of text protocols is that you can telnet to a port and do a
> transaction manually.  I'm thinking SMTP and HTTP here as examples.  I have
> on occasion had to send email without a mail client handy, so I just telnet
> to port 25 of my mail server and type in the SMTP commands.  Similarly, I
> have had occasion to need a web page without a browser handy: I just
> telnetted to port 80 and typed in my request.

Having done development with UBF, I'd like to suggest that it combines much
of the best of binary protocols with the transparency of text protocols.
UBF is much more readable than most XML-based protocols, and still
compact enough that it uses fewer bytes to encode Erlang terms than the
standard Erlang external term format.

http://www.sics.se/~joe/ubf/

After a while, reading and writing UBF structures manually was quite easy.

UBF is a text-based protocol designed by people with their brains egaged. (:
(According to the paper, it was Joe, with the help of Seif Haridi, Per Brand,
Thomas Arts and Luke Gorrie - a competent team by any standards).

BR,
Ulf W



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