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Re: going back to stone axes

At 04:39 2/27/96, Harald.T.Alvestrand@uninett.no wrote:
>note that when you did the data format you described, you did some assumptions:
>- By choosing 32-bit number of seconds from 1/1 1970, you decided that
>  dates before 1970 or after 2135 were not interesting.
>- By choosing a length-delimited string format, you chose to limit the
>length of strings.
>I find that ASN.1 is sometimes useful to document these assumptions. It is
>also sometimes
>useful to hide them - it's just a different set of constraints from C.

I'm not sure which way you're advocating, but the limitless length
strings of ASN.1 is one of its biggest mistakes.  This is not a case of
breaking away from 8+3 character file names.  A 16-bit string length is
not infinite, but infinite enough for our purposes.  With radix64 encodings
often presented as lines of less than 80 characters, far smaller strings
are probably adequate.  However, a 16-bit byte count field greatly simplifies
the life of an implementor over the baroque machinations which ASN.1
encodings are forced to go through in order to accomodate infinite length

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