[slime-devel] New wire format

Helmut Eller heller at common-lisp.net
Mon Nov 7 16:40:39 UTC 2011

* Hugo Duncan [2011-11-07 13:56] writes:

>>> This makes the messages less easy to inspect, and less easy
>>> to write integration tests for.
>> Only marginally.  Shifting 3 bytes together is not exactly rocket since.
> It isn't rocket science, but does remove the possibility of visual
> verification, and of being able to send messages via scripting or a
> simple console. HTTP, SIP, SMTP, and STOMP are all good examples of
> protocols with text headers, and I think appropriate, if one looks at
> swank as a sort of control protocol.

If HTTP is so great then why are WebSockets specified as a binary

> What is the gain from changing to a binary header? As far as I can see
> it is just saving a few bytes.


>>> Normalising on utf-8 and counting bytes sounds like it would solve the
>>> original issue without changing to a binary encoding of the message
>>> length.
>> Right.  It would not be backward compatible, tho.
> It seems to be worth solving encoding issues, so something has to give.
> Given this is a breaking change, I also see the desire to introduce an
> extension mechanism at the same time. I would argue a text based
> header/value extension would be more appropriate.

A fixed sized header is a clear efficiency win.  It's also easier to

> At the end of the day, I realise the balance between the respective
> merits of binary and text headers is somewhat subjective.

Yes, it's also rather academic as there are only 2 or 3 people that need
to debug this.


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