Thursday, October 22, 2015

On hitting nails with a microscope

The newly presented RFC introduces probably the most contradictory extension, and by itself is the one of the most meaningless RFCs adopted in the last 20 years.

The address of the RFC is and it defines the padding extension, whose only function is to insert some zero bytes into the ClientHello packet of the TLS protocol. What's the purpose, you might ask? The purpose is to work around the bugs in some implementation(s) that is/are confused by certain lengths of ClientHellow packet.

You've got it right. Instead of fixing bugs (or pushing the developers to fix bugs) they invent extensions to make other developers complicate their software with those extensions to work around the bugs.

Tolerance is acceptable to people of different race/origin/group. Tolerance to bugs in unacceptable. Tolerance to idiocy is not acceptable either.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

On reinventing the wheel

Google did it again, and there's a kind of hype around this new wheel.

Protocol Buffers are a bit simplified form of ASN.1 notation, which has been in use for decades. They even mention BER (Basic Encoding Rules, a form of ASN.1) but hide the "ASN" name.

This is what happens when imported eastern developers are writers and not readers.

Sometimes I feel pity that standards and protocols are not patented. One should prosecute those "reinventors" for plagiarism (taking the industry-adopted standard, hiding its name and claiming it the new protocol or something).