From: Randy Turner <rturner at sharplabs.com>
To: ipp at pwg.org
Subject: IPP> Protocol Specification Language
Well, as I expected, I received numerous comments on my proposal to
use ASN.1 as a formal specifier for IPP. One problem though, I didn't
hear any better ideas...
One question I had that might help the decision. I was curious how the
WG felt about designing the core IPP utilizing just text strings, not
necessarily human readable, but defintely machine parsable. If we use
nothing but ASCII text to define our protocol (much like RFC 822 or
then its possible that we could get along without a formal syntax
ASN.1. In fact, we could probably get away with a BNF specification for
the whole thing.
One problem I had with doing this was that we were talking about
formalizing data types within the model document. If we stay away from
endian-ness and bit-lengths of data types, then I think we could just
BNF. In other words, the more formal we get with regards to the model
document and data types, the more we need a formal way to express
the core IPP protocol in a strict, unambigous manner.
That is my thinking also. I prefer to deal with protocols that are text
based, as the implementation and debugging/tracing/monitoring at the
network, protocol, and application level can be done in a uniform and