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Survey of data representation standards (RFC0971)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004967D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Jul-12
Document File: 10 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

A.L. DeSchon: AUTHOR

Abstract

This report is a comparison of several data representation standards that are currently in use. The standards, or system type definitions, that will be discussed are the CCITT X.409 recommendation, the NBS Computer Based Message System (CBMS) standard, DARPA Multimedia Mail system, the Courier remote procedure call protocol, and the SUN Remote Procedure Call package.

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Network Working Group Annette L. DeSchon Request for Comments: 971 ISI

January 1986

A SURVEY OF DATA REPRESENTATION STANDARDS

Status of This Memo

This RFC discusses data representation conventions in the ARPA-Internet and suggests possible resolutions. No proposals in this document are intended as standards for the ARPA-Internet at this time. Rather, it is hoped that a general consensus will emerge as to the appropriate approach to these issues, leading eventually to the adoption of ARPA-Internet standards. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Introduction

This report is a comparison of several data representation standards that are currently in use. The standards, or system type definitions, that will be discussed are the CCITT X.409 recommendation, the NBS Computer Based Message System (CBMS) standard, DARPA Multimedia Mail system, the Courier remote procedure call protocol, and the SUN Remote Procedure Call package.

One purpose of this report is to determine how the CCITT standard, which is gaining wide acceptance internationally, compares with some of the other standards that have been developed in the areas of electronic mail, distributed interprocess communication, and remote procedure call. The CCITT X.409 recommendation, which is entitled "Presentation Transfer Syntax and Notation" is an international standard which is a part of the X.400 series Message Handling Systems (MHS) specifications [1]. It has been adopted by both the NBS and the ISO standards organizations. In addition, some commercial organizations have announced intentions to support a CCITT interface for electronic mail. The NBS Computer Based Message System (CBMS) standard was developed previously and was published as a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS Publication 98) in 1983 [3]. The DARPA Multimedia Mail system is an experimental electronic mail system which is in use in the DARPA Internet [2,4,5]. It is used to create and distribute messages that incorporate text, graphics, stored speech, and images and has been implemented on on several very different machines. Courier is the XEROX network systems remote procedure call protocol [7]. The SUN Remote Procedure Call package implements "network pipes" between UNIX machines [6].

DeSchon [Page 1]

RFC 971 January 1986 A Survey of Data Representation Standards

2. Background

This section presents a brief overview of the basic terminology and approach of each data representation standard.

2.1. Interprocess Communication Standards

The standards that are oriented towards distributed interprocess communication or remote procedure call, between like machines, generally favor the use of types that map easily into the types defined in the programming language in use on the system. For example, the types defined for the XEROX Courier system resemble the types found in the Mesa programming language. Simil...