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Subject: RE: [obix-xml] Re: Proposal for Alternate oBIX Encodings

I heartily approve!


If the Calendar Consortium brings their stuff forward early, we can add it.




"A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying ... that he is wiser today than yesterday." -- Jonathan Swift

Toby Considine

Facilities Technology Office
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC


Email: Toby.Considine@ unc.edu
Phone: (919)962-9073


blog: www.NewDaedalus.com



From: Brian Frank [mailto:brian.tridium@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:56 PM
To: obix-xml@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [obix-xml] Re: Proposal for Alternate oBIX Encodings


Now that summer is winding down, I'd like to get some thoughts on doing a binary encoding for oBIX and finalizing the 1.1 draft.


In the most recent IETF meeting, it was decided to form a new working group for an application level protocol to run over 6LoWPAN.  I have submitted a Internet Draft for a compressed UDP version of HTTP:



Who knows where an IETF standard might wind up, but I am hoping that it will be HTTP based and address resources with URIs.


Of course, we still need a modeling and payload encoding for data.  I think a binary encoding of oBIX would be a perfect fit for this brave new world!


I would like to propose adding a chapter to the oBIX 1.1 specification for binary encoding.  Assuming we are satisfied with that, I would like finalize 1.1 as a specification with the new content on timezone, time, date, and binary encoding.  Although Aaron has written an iCAL scheduling draft, I don't think we have any implementations - so I would suggest taking that off the table for 1.1 and instead focus on releasing a 1.1 this year.


What do you guys think?





On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:25 AM, Frank, Brian <bfrank@tridium.com> wrote:

Today oBIX defines an abstract object model with a single encoding based on XML.  But the original vision behind oBIX was that multiple encodings could be defined all sharing the same interoperable object model.  I would like to propose adding two alternate encodings of the oBIX object model to the 1.1 draft specification: JSON and Binary.


One of the things we are starting to see is many people are using oBIX as an AJAX data feed to their browser.  In this use case, it is preferable to deliver the oBIX information directly in a JSON format rather than requiring JavaScript to parse the XML into a usable format.


Why a binary oBIX encoding?  This requirement takes a little more background discussion.  One of the technologies I have been deeply involved in is 6LoWPAN which is an RFC specifying how to run IPv6 over 802.15.4 wireless networks.  I firmly believe that 6LoWPAN has the potential to unleash the Pervasive Internet by adding billions of new nodes to the Internet.  But putting these devices onto the Internet is just the first step.  The next step is to put them onto the Web so that they can be wired into humanities existing information infrastructure.  Due to their resource and power constraints, 6LoWPAN devices cannot fully run HTTP or mange  XML payloads.  To the solve the HTTP problem, I am working on an RFC to run a compressed version of HTTP over 6LoWPAN.  On the payload side,  oBIX fits perfectly for defining a RESTful information model.  But we need a compact encoding which can work with the small packet sizes required for 802.15.4 networks.  I have some good ideas on how to achieve this without loosing any of oBIX’s modeling capability.


Clients would perform negotiation with servers for their preferred encoding using the Accept header (standard HTTP content negotiation).




I would suggest we try to setup a teleconference next week (Mon or Tue preferably) to discuss this strategy.





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