Richard Sharpe sharpe at
Mon Jun 19 15:24:43 GMT 2000

At 08:09 AM 6/19/00 -0400, David Collier-Brown wrote:
>Richard Sharpe wrote:
>> Well, I have been down that path partially before, and the problem it seems
>> to me is that what you now have is the syntax under control, but not the
>> semantics.
>	Some things with semantics are trivial, others are hard (;-))

Hmm, OK ...

>	A couple of years ago I worked on a project which 
>	generated tests and test data from a simple semantic
>	notation (ADL): the hard part was sitting doen and mapping
>	the syntax to the semantics for all the*#%$@$@%! possible
>	operations we were looking at.
>	On the other hand, having the syntax descriptions for
>	library calls conveniently available allowed Sun to 
>	create apptrace (
>	which is like strace for library calls.  I wouldn't
>	have reccomended doing it by hand!

Well, I can agree that having syntax is better than nothing. I managed to
quickly code up many of the dissection routines for Ethereal once I had the
syntax of many of the SMB functions done.

However, I don't like the language I produced and would rather use Sander's
IDL compiler. However, bitfields are definitely needed, as well as enumfields.

>> There is still a lot of work to do, but I will be in Canberra in a couple
>> of weeks and I can see now what Andrew was referring to when I asked if
>> there was anything I could do for three days or so, and he said yes!
>	That sound about right for a rewrite (;-))
>David Collier-Brown,  | Always do right. This will gratify some people
>185 Ellerslie Ave.,   | and astonish the rest.        -- Mark Twain
>Willowdale, Ontario   | //
>Work: (905) 415-2849 Home: (416) 223-8968 Email: davecb at

Richard Sharpe, sharpe at
Samba (Team member,, Ethereal (Team member,
Co-author, SAMS Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours
Author: First Australian 5-day, intensive, hands-on Linux SysAdmin course
Author: First Australian 2-day, intensive, hands-on Samba course

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