Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Extprot: A Very Cool Idea

Another thing that I ran across today is the release of Extprot. Very quick rundown:
  • Packed binary encoding of message data (a la Thrift, GPB, ASN.1, blah blah blah).
  • Backwards compatibility with certain schema changes.
  • Self-Describing: permits runtime introspection of message contents without access to the message definition (currently not in GPB for example).
  • Message length encoded in the message (to avoid the streaming problem that GPB has).
  • Compiler in OCaml.
  • Reference implementation in OCaml, apparently Ruby is in the works.
  • If they can get the big-three enterprise/MOM-friendly languages (C/C++, Java, C#/.Net) supported, this could be a winner.
I have a long-edited blog post that I'll flesh out in the next couple of days about this very subject (MOM is all well and good, but what do you put inside the messages?). This makes it far more relevant.
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