[erlang-questions] fyi: Google protocol buffers

Darren New dnew@REDACTED
Wed Jul 9 18:48:06 CEST 2008

john s wolter wrote:
> The Google protocol is similar to ASN.1,

I see many protocols developed that are reinventions of "committee" 
protocols that are "simpler" because they throw away a bunch of things 
that only some people in the committee wanted.

Of course, in this case, there's no real problem with Google inventing 
something that exactly addresses their needs. I just dread the day when 
a dozen people implement it and we start seeing 
Proto-wrapped-in-XML-over-SOAP or some such nonsense. As long as you're 
only using it between your own components, there's no real need to stick 
with a standard.

> Let me throw into the discussion some additional references and mention 
> BEEP, Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol.  BEEP is more a well defined 
> protocol helper.

Where ASN.1, Google's proto, and XML are all presentation-layer 
specifications, BEEP is a session-layer specification.

> Lastly just to expand this discussion, within web services API's there 
> is this trend towards RESTful interface design to backend programs.  

Sadly, there's far more RESTful interface design than actual REST 
interface design. You lose much of the ability to use existing libraries 
and such when your design is only RESTful instead of actually being REST.

Name three companies publishing "RESTful" services that all use the same 
authentication mechanism, for example. :-)

> BEEP covers what a network messaging protocol needs to cover.

Dr. Rose described it as "getting all that stuff out of the way so your 
IETF meeting doesn't spend 90% of the time on the stuff that's the same 
in every protocol and 10% of the time on the stuff specific to your 

Darren New / San Diego, CA, USA (PST)
  Helpful housekeeping hints:
   Check your feather pillows for holes
    before putting them in the washing machine.

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