Re: [jose] Canonical JSON form

Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com> Fri, 12 October 2018 06:38 UTC

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To: Bret Jordan <jordan.ietf@gmail.com>
Cc: Carsten Bormann <cabo@tzi.org>, Phil Hunt <phil.hunt@oracle.com>, Kathleen Moriarty <kathleen.moriarty.ietf@gmail.com>, "Manger, James" <James.H.Manger@team.telstra.com>, jose@ietf.org
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From: Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com>
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Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 08:38:33 +0200
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Subject: Re: [jose] Canonical JSON form
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On 2018-10-11 22:05, Bret Jordan wrote:
> Anders,
> 
> I really like what you have done with this.  I am trying to figure out if it will work 100% for my needs, or if it will need some tweaking.  If it does work, then I think we should really try and figure out how we get your work standardized.
> 

Thanx Bret!

The https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-erdtman-jose-cleartext-jws-01 I-D provides quite a lot of features including an extension option that can be used for adding possibly missing functionality.

There is one thing that is good to know for anyone thinking about standardizing Canonical JSON and that's the fact that canonicalization also can be performed on the text level as described by: https://gibson042.github.io/canonicaljson-spec/

This has the advantage that it is very simple and supports the entire JSON RFC without restrictions.


So why didn't I took this [superficially obvious] route? There are several reasons for that:

A downside of source level canonicalization is that it doesn't integrate with JSON parsers and serializers. https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-rundgren-json-canonicalization-scheme-01 was explicitly designed to eventually be an option of a standard JSON serializer as it already is in my Java reference implementation.

Another issue is that it is unclear what the value is with using the JSON "Number" format outside of the IEEE range.  In fact, it excludes parsers like JavaScript's JSON.parse() unless JavaScaript would be updated to always use a "BigNumber" as fundamental numeric type.

Regards,
Anders