[standards-jig] JNG Ramblings.

Adam Theo theo at theoretic.com
Fri Aug 9 19:02:48 UTC 2002

OK, I've decided that this issue interests me enough for me to look into 
it more. Unfortunately, I know nothing about these low-level issues 
being discussed and debated, so if some people would be so kind as to 
direct me to some good online resources for beginners/newbies to the 
field, thanks. I've spent the last hour Googling about it, but have not 
found any introductory resources on the issue.

Thanks :)

Mike Lin wrote:
> Well, one thing is for sure, is that we don't want make ourselves do our
> own BEEP implementations because we bastardized the protocol. BEEP
> implementations are quite heavy with channel management and flow
> control, and amount to 50% of a user-space TCP implementation - on top
> of TCP. Use existing BEEP implementations, or don't use it at all. A
> framer for the protocol I laid out is an order of magnitude less complex
> than a BEEP implementation.
> We are already dumping telnet-and-type in Jabber by switching over to
> SASL authentication, which requires cryptographic operations on every
> session.
> There are reasons to use a binary protocol for framing, and reasons to
> use an XML protocol for extensibility. I am trying to blend the two. I
> don't know if it's right, that's why I'm implementing it to find out.
> It would be trivially simple to write a program that lets you type
> messages to the server, and wraps it in the binary frame for you.
> -Mike
> On Fri, 2002-08-09 at 12:53, Iain Shigeoka wrote:
>>As another person that telnets into the server regularly to check behavior,
>>I'll have to say that binary is a bummer.  If efficiency (wire and code) and
>>computer friendliness were the highest priorities, we might as well drop XML
>>as the packet format too.  There are much more efficient ways of creating
>>and reading binary formatted messages that don't require parsing XML.
>>I think a pure ascii text protocol (UTF-8 but limited to ascii) is the best
>>internet protocol format because of its hackability.  I can telnet into an
>>SMTP server anywhere and send an email with no tools (beyond telnet) and
>>almost no knowledge of the protocol itself (hell you can even type "help" on
>>most systems as part of the protocol and get the available commands).  The
>>same applies to almost all largely deployed internet protocols.
>>I keep banging on the BEEP drum (thanks for plugging it as well David)
>>because it is there, an IETF standard, and it basically works.  I understand
>>there are problems with its larger requirements (breaking Jabber simplicity)
>>but we don't have to use the whole BEEP standard.  We could define a subset
>>of BEEP specifically for Jabber so that Jabber on BEEP would work on any
>>BEEP compliant system/library (but Jabber on BEEP systems wouldn't
>>necessarily support all BEEP features like multi-packet responses and
>>anything requiring sophisticated windowing).
>>The only real drawback to BEEP that I see is that you still need to count
>>octets in the packet in order to generate the frame which is pretty
>>unfriendly to someone typing in things to talk to the server.  To
>>accommodate direct human-to-BEEP interaction, I might propose a small
>>modification to break some of BEEP to provide for non-octet counting based
>>framing...  Maybe just unique begin/end text tags ala multi-part mime.
>>PS - I wouldn't be that opposed to coopting some of the APEX stuff too if it
>>seems like it would be useful.  I like the APEX idea that routers and end
>>points are not the same (although they could be).  This seems to be much
>>more ISP friendly and creates the real possibility of moving a lot of the
>>server bottlenecks into hardware (the APEX router stuff).
>>Standards-JIG mailing list
>>Standards-JIG at jabber.org
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     /\  Adam Theo, Age 23, Tallahassee FL USA
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