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Representing Network Data

A common problem with heterogeneous networked systems is data representation. Different machines can represent the same data in different ways; for example, integers might be stored in one processor in high-low format while they’re stored in another in low-high format. Because the bytes are actually stored differently in these two cases, great care is needed when moving data from one machine to another.

This is perhaps less of a problem nowadays with the emergence of widely used languages such as Java. However, when multibyte data is moved from one machine to another there is always scope for misrepresentation of that data. There are schemes for solving this problem, one of which is the adoption of abstract syntax notation, specifically ASN.1.

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