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snmpconf PM-09 character constants



Hi -

A closer reading reveals some problems in the
description of string and character processing in
<draft-ietf-snmpconf-pm-09.txt> that need to be nailed down.

I believe a net simplification of the language is possible
by elimination of the char_constant and c_char productions,
since there appears to be no cases where these are needed.
Furthermore, the current definitions run into trouble when
the document says:

|   char_constant     Return the string of length one containing
|                     the value of the input argument.

because the underlying definitions 

|   non_quote:  Any character in the UTF-8 character set
|               except single quote ('), double quote ("),
|               backslash ('\') or newline.
|
|   c_char:            non_quote | '"' | escape_seq

and

| The String type is the set of all finite ordered sequences of
| zero or more 8-bit unsigned integer values ("elements"). The
| string type can store textual data as well as binary data
| sequences. Each element is regarded as occupying a position
| within the sequence. These positions are indexed with
| nonnegative integers. The first element (if any) is at
| position 0, the next element (if any) at position 1, and so
| on. The length of a string is the number of elements (i.e.,
| 8-bit values) within it. The empty string has length zero and
| therefore contains no elements.

conflict.  Specifically, if we have a character whose
code-point is greater than 127 in one of these char_constants,
the UTF-8 encoding will take more than one 8-bit element.
Since there's currently nothing that actually needs
char_constant, the simplest way to solve this conflict
is to simply eliminate the production.

Secondly, I think section 6.2.1's second paragraph should
be explicit that the string representation is UTF-8,
since much other string processing relies on this.

 ------------------------------------------------------
 Randy Presuhn          BMC Software, Inc.  1-3141
 randy_presuhn@bmc.com  2141 North First Street
 Tel: +1 408 546-1006   San Josť, California 95131  USA
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 My opinions and BMC's are independent variables.
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