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james (1129)

james
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Journal of james (1129)

Monday June 17, 2002
11:54 AM

Protocol hacking

[ #5711 ]

I've got to write a reasonably large chunk of code for a server that talks to a client using a protocol I have no control over, and have little specification for. This protocol (like so many others) sits on top of HTTP and based on what I do know about it, the protocol is not very pretty.

My first thought was "write a proxy server" to get a good idea about what data the client is sending and what the server is responding with.

I think however, that there is a Better Way. I find myself doing this sort of thing all the time and I'm not sure its the right way to do it. When Pierre wrote WSDL::Generator he gave me the ideea.

WSDL::Generator works by examining data between your calling code, and your called code over a long period of time, and then using that knowledge to slowly learn what what the called code considers valid input.

I think that I can probably write a proxy that learns what the protocol looks like (in both request and response form) and build me a reasonably complete framework of code to use in a tuned-by-hand version.

Of course I might just be smoking too much crack...

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  • Pierre Denis' CPAN directory is called PDENIS. When I first saw it I was convinced that it was PENIS :)

    I was wondering if the powers to be would grant such a name and if I need more or less coffee to survive the afternoon...

    <random-comment/>