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From "Zheng, Kai" <>
Subject RE: [kerby] ASN1 Quick review
Date Thu, 24 Dec 2015 00:56:45 GMT
Nice picture!! My comments are embedded marked as [Kai].

-----Original Message-----
From: Emmanuel L├ęcharny [] 
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2015 1:29 AM
To: Apache Directory Developers List <>
Subject: Re: [kerby] ASN1 Quick review

Some more questions, now that I have drawn the full Asn1 hierarchy
[Kai] Thanks a lot. Very cool! Could we integrate it in the library doc?

- can't we merge the Asn1Encodable and AbstractAsn1Type classes ?
[Kai] I guess we can, actually before AbstractAsn1Type is very large. I would prefer to separate
them becaue the roles of them are clearly different. Asn1Encodable is responsible for all
the encoding/decoding dirty works; and AbstractAsn1Type would wrap a Java type value using
Java generic. For now all Asn1Type object are AbstractAsn1Type, but may be not in the future,
because there are possible situations where some types don't want to start with AbstractAsn1Type
using the generic things. I wish the library could evolve further so be able to standalone
as a complete solution some day.

- same question for the Asn1Cnstructed and Asn1Collection classes
[Kai] Again they were together before but separated out recently. Asn1Collection is purely
for set/setoff/sequence/sequenceof. Asn1Constructed can be another case where primitive type
but using constructed encoding. You could check the places where it's used. An example in

- I'm not sure the Asn1Dumpable interface makes a lot of sense. Why don't we simply implement
a toString() method that takes an identation as a parameter ?
[Kai] Right initially when implementing the dump support we went the way, we used a separate
method toStr() but found it doesn't work nicely. toString() with a indent parameter looks
anti-intuitive I guess. A dumpable can be passed a dumper as well and using the dumper it
can share the same underlying String builder along with all kinds of utility functions. Note
only complex and bridge types like Asn1CollecionType, Asn1Any and Asn1Container need to go
the way, simple types use Java toString() naturally. 

I thought the dumping support is very important because without it, many time it's very hard,
time-consuming, and frustrating when digging into a large hierarchy structure or more than
1k bytes for a bug. It's surely a place we can further improve.


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