[erlang-questions] fyi: Google protocol buffers

Vance Shipley <>
Wed Jul 9 17:34:26 CEST 2008


On Wed, Jul 09, 2008 at 04:34:17PM +0200, Christian S wrote:
}  I have this theory that ASN.1 is too complex (or at least hard to
}  understand), otherwise it would be used much more.
  
For me ASN.1 represents an era which was the pinacle of
protocol design.  There is a parallel with the telephone 
industry which had it's pinacle era in the early nineties 
with complete digital transmission (TDM) and signaling
(ISUP/ISDN).  At that point quality in all aspects was at
an all time high.  Competition brought in less sophisticated
approaches (e.g. VoIP) and quality suffered dramtically.

}  It really is a killer feature to be simple (KISS and all that), but
}  not simplistic.

It's about democratizing technology.  In the era of ASN.1 
it took an engineer to do anything with one of these protocols.
By comparison a text based protocol such as HTTP makes it
seem that anyone could understand it.  It's more approachable.
With the introduction of SIP suddenly the field of telecommunications 
signaling is no longer the domain of engineers but is accessable
to the layman.  The unfortunate result however is a dramatic loss
of sophistication.  Things are adhoc instead of well engineered.

ASN.1 gave me a headache when I started learning it however it
is so effecient and simple to use that I miss working with it.

	-Vance [sadly dealing with SIP/SOAP/etc.]



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