[Cryptography] Is ASN.1 still the thing?
James A. Donald
jamesd at echeque.com
Sun Nov 12 22:11:39 EST 2017
Do JSON, Yaml, or protobuff allow representing data format in ways that
give a unique and well defined checksum, that will not be affected by
endianess or compiler options?
Cryptographers specify data formats are in ASN.1 because that way you
can get a unique hash or checksum of the data, regardless of which
compiler you are using, and whether your machine is big endian or little
But these days everyone seems to be using JSON to represent data in
transit, because that is the language of the web and of node.js, or
YAML, which is JSON polished up to support more kinds of data and to
actually be genuinely human readable, or protobuff, because people who
write in C++ despise the horrible inefficiency of translating data to
and from ascii representation.
ASN.1 provides canonical format so that you can hash it or checksum it,
ultra efficient binary format for C and C++ purists, and supposedly
human readable format, though its human readable format is not
particularly human readable. You are a lot better off with YAML if, as
in ini files, you want human readability.
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