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Forward: BER encoding



A rather old message that didn't make it to the list - I replied to it
but forgot to forward the original.

-- 
Alex

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Hello!

	I'd like to second the proposal to support the BER encoding of
integers. Granted, more efficient encodings could be devised
(especially if we have some idea about the distribution of integers in
our domain). An Appendix to Witten et al book "Text compression" lists
quite a numbers of various encodings of arbitrary integers, some of
which are quite nifty. However, the BER encoding mentioned in SRFI-56
is the ISO standard. Furthermore, the BER encoding of integers is used
in many other BER/DER rules for more complex ASN.1 objects. ASN.1
(which some say is a better version of XML) is still wildly used,
e.g., in SNMP and LDAP and CMS (cryptographic message syntax, aka
the "new" S/MIME). In fact, BER appears almost in any RFC that
contains the word 'crypto'. See, for example, Section 3 of
	http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2792.txt
as well
	http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3280.txt
	http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3369.txt


The best guide on BER/DER and ASN.1 is 
	Burton S. Kaliski Jr. A Layman's Guide to a Subset of ASN.1, BER,
and DER. An RSA Laboratories Technical Note. Revised November 1, 1993.

Available online:
	http://luca.ntop.org/Teaching/Appunti/asn1.html
	http://www.alw.nih.gov/Security/FIRST/papers/crypto/pkcs/layman.ps
and very many other places: just Google for 
	"Burton S. Kaliski Jr. Layman's Guide"




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