[Matroska-devel] EBML specification component for review - Introduction

Erik Piil piil.erik at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 04:31:53 CEST 2015


This discussion relates to the "Introduction" portion of the earlier EBML
RFC Draft for revision/incorporation into the final EBML specification.

>From the RFC Draft:

Introduction

The Extensible Binary Markup Language EBML was designed to be a simplified
binary version of XML for the purpose of storing and manipulating data in a
hierarchical form with variable field lengths. Specifically EBML was
designed as the framework language for the video container format Matroska.
Some of the advantages of EBML are:

- Possibility for compatibility between different versions of binary
languages defined in EBML. A rare property of binary format that otherwise
often needs careful consideration beforehand.

- Unlimited size of data payload.

- Can be both generated and read as a stream, without knowing the data size
beforehand.

- Often very space efficient, even compared to other binary representations
of the same data.

Some of the EBML disadvantages are:

- No references can be made between EBML files, such as includes or
inherits. Every EBML document is a self contained entity. The data stored
in EBML may of course reference other resources.

- No compositioning process to merge two or more EBML languages currently
exists.

This document describes the EBML binary syntax, its semantic interpretation
and the syntax of a textual document type definition format used to define
the rules and constraints of an EBML language. BNF is used throughout this
document to augment the description and make it more formalized. It must
however be noted that two different formats are described in this document,
with two different BNFs. One for the binary format in chapter 2 and one for
the document type definition in the rest of the document. To avoid
confusion different token names has been chosen. The BNFs can be viewed in
full in the appendices.

Any thoughts are most appreciated.

Best,

Erik
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