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  You are here: home Info Bank Articles » Introduction to BXXP Sunday, 3 February 2008

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BXXPExternal link stands for Blocks eXtensible eXchange Protocol, but pronounced as BEEP. BXXP specification was drafted by the man who helped draft SMTP, POP3 & SNMP - Dr. Marshall Rose [CTO and co-founder Invisible WorldsExternal link].

BXXP is a generic application protocol framework for connection-oriented, asynchronous request/response interactions based Internet applications. In other words, BXXP is a general purpose framework for creating Internet application protocols that serve as an alternative to aging HTTP used for Web browsing. Think of BXXP as HTTP on steroids...BXXP won't replace HTTP for everything, but it can be used when new applications protocols are developed.

Internet engineers say BXXP will significantly reduce the time it takes to prototype and build Internet applications. BXXP handles all the dirty work of initiating connections, framing, managing security, and multiplexing multiple channels in a single authenticated connection, freeing developers to work on adding new application features. When you are building a protocol, you have to decide how you are going to do error-message reporting and how you are going to handle the size of objects. BXXP solves all of that for you.

BXXP is essentially a toolkit that developers can use to quickly create protocols for a range of applications including instant messanging , file transfer, content syndication, network management and metadata exchange. BXXP uses a peer-to-peer architecture. BXXP sets up & maintains a connection over the Internet between User X and User Y to carry data and information back and forth between the two parties. One special feature of a BXXP connection is it can carry multiple simultaneous exchanges of data - knows as channels. In BXXP's architecture, the two users alternate between acting as clients and servers. BXXP uses XML to frame the data images and information exchanged between the two users. At the core of the BXXP framework is a framing mechanism that permits simultaneous and independent exchanges of messages between peers. Messages are arbitrary MIME content, but are usually textual XML.

BXXP runs on top of TCP & acts as an alternative to HTTP or a custom-made data exchange protocol. HTTP was designed to handle the transport of HTML documents and is ideal for web browsing. HTTP doesn't work well for the transfer of XML data, also it does not support multiple simultaneous exchanges between users. For these types of applications, developers have to create their own special-purpose protocols. Now they can use BXXP to speed that process. Blocks is a new protocol designed to move (XML) data on the Web smoothly and quickly.

In summary, BXXP allws new benefits for both users and developers. It is not to replace HTTP, but simply to enhance it. It is likely to make the Web more user-friendly by allowing faster, smoother exchange of XML documents. At the same time, adding features like carrying multiple simultaneous exchanges of data (channels).

To read more about BXXP and Invisible Worlds:

  • Invisible Worlds Web site
  • The developer community Web site for the BXXP
  • The BEEP (BXXP) Working Group
  • Mappa Mundi Magazine

Darshan Singh () [Dec 11' 2000]    


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