Re: [apps-discuss] Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR)

Dave Crocker <> Wed, 22 May 2013 16:11 UTC

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Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 09:11:03 -0700
From: Dave Crocker <>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
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Cc: Paul Hoffman <>, IETF Apps Discuss <>
Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR)
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On 5/22/2013 8:47 AM, James M Snell wrote:
> There have, however, been a number
> of previous attempts at alternative compact binary representations (or
> at least discussions) that did not seem to really go anywhere.

Indeed, Jack Haverty, then of MIT, lobbied hard for an especially 
concise, variable-length encoding form for email, back when RFC 733 was 
being developed, in 1977 for email.

We thought his idea clever but deciding to stay with the existing 
simple-ASCII practice, for messages that looked pretty much as they do 

Jack's scheme certainly wasn't identical to the CBOR proposal, but it 
looks like the design approach is related.

I've always thought the approach a good one... assuming that it makes 
the right choices for what data to represent the most concisely.

For that, there should be some empirical data cited and possibly some 
discussion of significant earlier, related encoding schemes.  I suspect 
BER is the major one to consider.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking