Binary Lexical Octet Ad-hoc Transport (RFC3252)
Original Publication Date: 2002-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Apr-02
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document defines a reformulation of IP and two transport layer protocols (TCP and UDP) as XML applications.
Network Working Group H. Kennedy
Request for Comments: 3252 Mimezine
Category: Informational 1 April 2002
Binary Lexical Octet Ad-hoc Transport
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.
This document defines a reformulation of IP and two transport layer
protocols (TCP and UDP) as XML applications.
This document describes the Binary Lexical Octet Ad-hoc Transport
(BLOAT): a reformulation of a widely-deployed network-layer protocol
(IP [RFC791]), and two associated transport layer protocols (TCP
[RFC793] and UDP [RFC768]) as XML [XML] applications. It also
describes methods for transporting BLOAT over Ethernet and IEEE 802
networks as well as encapsulating BLOAT in IP for gatewaying BLOAT
across the public Internet.
The wild popularity of XML as a basis for application-level protocols
such as the Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol [RFC3080], the Simple
Object Access Protocol [SOAP], and Jabber [JABBER] prompted
investigation into the possibility of extending the use of XML in the
protocol stack. Using XML at both the transport and network layer in
addition to the application layer would provide for an amazing amount
of power and flexibility while removing dependencies on proprietary
and hard-to-understand binary protocols. This protocol unification
would also allow applications to use a single XML parser for all
aspects of their operation, eliminating developer time spent figuring
out the intricacies of each new protocol, and moving the hard work of
Kennedy Informational [Page 1]
RFC 3252 Binary Lexical Octet Ad-hoc Transport 1 April 2002
parsing to the XML toolset. The use of XML also mitigates concerns
over "network vs. host" byte ordering which is at the root of many
network application bugs.
1.3. Relation to Existing Protocols
The reformulations specified in this RFC follow as closely as
possible the spirit of the RFCs on which they are based, and so MAY
contain elements or attributes that would not be needed in a pure
reworking (e.g. length attributes, which are implicit in XML.)
The layering of network and transport protocols are maintained in
this RFC despite the optimizations that could be made if the line
were somewhat blurred (i.e. merging TCP and IP into a single, larger
element in the DTD) in order to foster future use of this protocol as
a basis for reformulating other protocols (such as ICMP.)
Other than the encoding, the behavioral aspects of each of the
existing protocols remain unchanged. Routing, address spaces, TCP
congestion control, etc. behave as specified in the extant standards.
Adapting to new standards and experimental algorithm heuristics for
improving performance will become much easier once the move to BLOAT
has been completed.
1.4. Requirement Levels