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FW: encodings: do we need binary at all? -Reply

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To: spki
From: FreedmanJ on Tue, Feb 27, 1996 12:49 PM
Subject: FW: encodings: do we need binary at all? -Reply
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Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 07:40:04 -0800
To: spki@c2.org
From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: encodings: do we need binary at all? -Reply
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>ASN.1 uses a very general abstract framework for objects, but the BER/DER
>are a horrendous bit-twiddle that looks like its first priority is
>minimizing the number of bits in the output format, at the cost of
>excessive CPU decision-making and almost as many output bits as it saves.
>Either raw or mm/uuencoded, its exchange format isn't human-readable.

>The big benefit of ASN.1 is the extensibility; BER/DER has minimal redeeming
>social value.  I've heard that PER is far more tolerable.
>A big drawback is that you _have_ to use ASN.1 parsing tools,
>rather than your favorite ASCII editors and databases.

>There are three main drawbacks to Perry's approach - size expansion,
>fixed contents, and the need for special-case code (as opposed to reusable

  I'd like to separate DER and BER. I agree BER is clumsy and DER, since it is
defined relative to BER is clumsy too. But the purpose of DER is have a set of
rules that generate unique encodingings - there are no choices and everytime
an object is encoded with DER it should (qualified given some problems with
UTCTine etc) generate the same encodings. Couldnt the same thing be done with
a more graceful encoding scheme as a base  a DER for PER, or DER/LWER or even
a set of encoding rules developed here

                        Jerry Freedman,Jr