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Re: [Monotone-devel] serialization format

From: Lapo Luchini
Subject: Re: [Monotone-devel] serialization format
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:02:07 +0200
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Markus Wanner wrote:
> There are plenty of alternatives when considering a binary format: good
> old ASN.1, Google Protocol Buffers, MessagePack, Blink, etc...

As far as internal formats go (which users don't care about) I am
strongly biased* towards ASN.1, it's really flexible and space-efficient
(even in DER, I wouldn't go as far as using the bit-packed ones) and can
be "decoded" pretty easily using Peter Gutman's dumpasn1 or my

What I doubt mainly is: is migrating from basic_io worthy of being done?

I mean: changing hash is (will be) more or less necessary, we have to
accept that. Changing the hash output from hex to something like base58
more or less too (256 bit in hex is really long).

But do we want (and do we have the manpower) to change basic_io?

(I'm not saying the answer is "no", I'm just dubious it's worth it)

> At the moment, the most important question seems to be: how much do you
> value the human readable representation? How about a binary format that
> you can easily transform to and from a human readable one?

I'm strongly about the latter; personally I hate human readable formats
because they are overly redundant… while being slower at it. ;-)


*: well part of it is because I'm forced to use it in any cryptographic
format out there, more or less, but once you gt the gist of it it's a
much less fearsome beast than I originally thought.

Lapo Luchini -

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