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Re: spki syntax


At 06:10 PM 4/1/98 +0100, Francesco Zambon wrote:
>Reading the various drafts of the sdsi & spki efforts I noticed that  a
>large part of the documents is devoted  to the definition of ad-hoc spki
>  The proposals are sometimes non omogeneus and  introduce special
>notations for some specific subjects. As a consequence notations are not so
>easy to read and understand. 
>In the following lines I examine   the adoption of well known syntaxes in
>order easy the focus on spki semantics which is, at the end,  the real
>can you tellme if it is simply a matter of taste or  if importing well
>defined but foreing notations can bring to positive enhancements to the
>spki approach
>regards, Francesco Zambon


	the choice between S-expression and XML has been raised before.  W3C would 
like us to use XML.  It should be possible to write a translator from XML to 
canonical S-expressions (just as Ron Rivest did the translator from full 
S-expression to canonical).

	One of our choices was ease of parsing and canonical form achieves that.  
(See the parsing code in the package I'm soon to release.)

	However, if XML becomes solid and stable, we may well see a move in the 
future to standardize on that.  At this point, they seem equivalent and so 
we're sticking with S-expressions.

	The use of prolog is very interesting.  It should be easy to write a 
5-tuple reducer in prolog.  That would suggest <tag>s in prolog.

	However, the resulting certificates might be very hard for people to 
understand.  (I remember the effort it took me to learn prolog, after years 
of experience with many languages.)  OTOH, I don't want to discourage anyone 
from investigating that possibility.  There could be some exciting 
possibilities there.  Are you a proficient prolog programmer?  Do you want 
to try that research project?

 - Carl

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