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Re: [cme@cybercash.com: Re: Base-64 proposal]



	you make an interesting case here, but the coding:

At 05:13 PM 4/17/97 EDT, Ron Rivest wrote:
>(b) also gives you the ability to encode part of a string, e.g.

bothers me.  This means that in a binary verbatim string we need to escape 
"{" somehow.  I prefer not to have any escape mechanism.

>#1c:funny-character-{x6}-just given

The same problem here.

>which might be useful.

This or some mechanism like it (e.g., \173) is very useful, when you have 
people typing such things.  I think of verbatim strings as a truly binary 
form -- something which might accidentally be readable (if the byte 
string is really characters) but not something we expect a user to type or edit.  
For that, I would expect an editor to process the binary input (either as an 
app up front or as a custom editor option (e.g., in BBEDIT)).  The same 
processing, in an intelligent enough editor, might hide the display hint 
from you, putting it into a pull-down menu selection and displaying the byte 
string accordingly.

>  Also, (b) allows you to use the base64 coding
>for fragmentation:

Again, fragmentation is useful when you are transmitting something raw 
through SMTP.  I see nothing wrong with using actual 8-bit channels or 
base64 encoding entire outer blobs and using a 7-bit channel.

>because line-breaks are ignored inside the braces.  But with (a), you
>need a different mechanism for fragmentation, if you want to support 
>With both (a) and (b), if you see a printout you know that there is no
>"funny parenthesis business" going on underneath the base-64 coding.
>With (a), you know that there is exactly one object underneath.  (With
>(b), there could be two successive byte strings, for example.)

Yup -- I suspect we're in danger here of not keeping our domains separate.  
If we mean binary when we say binary, there's no use for such user editing 
or 7-bit channel aids.


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