Reply to post: Re: Why IMAP and not XNMP?

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Michael Wojcik Silver badge

Re: Why IMAP and not XNMP?

I had no idea they had kept up with the cool kids.

While DER, and even more so BER, are abominations and largely responsible for the myriad problems of ASN.1 implementations, ASN.1 itself is still overengineered and excessive. It's the very antithesis of "cool", regardless of encoding.

OIDs in ASN.1 structures are useful, inasmuch as they add a typing mechanism, but even they are poorly designed. Hierarchical namespace: great. Represented with integers assigned by a numbering authority rather than human-readable text: dumb.

Aside from OIDs I'm having a hard time thinking of anything valuable ASN.1 brought to the table. It's not like it invented the idea of describing structured types using a CFG. We've had Backus-Naur Form since 1960, and as Wikipedia points out, the general idea is around 2500 years old.

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