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Obol

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important software information
company name:
perm
license: Freeware
minimum requirements: No special requirements.
functional limitations:
Obol description


Obol is part of a project to investigate properties of security protocols, what they are, how they behave, how they interact, how to deal with them. The Obol language grew out of a desire to escape the distractions of low-level implementation efforts, and the need to experiment and express security protocols as independent programs, closer to the level on which security protocols are analysed.

What's it all about?

Obol is a specialized high-level programming language for security protocols. The idea is to program closer to the abstractions used to describe and analyze security protocols, and leave all the nasty details to the runtime. The runtime will then handle "mundane" issues such as message representation, communication, cryptographic transformations and so on.

What's the point of that?

By focusing on the security aspects of the protocol being implemented, one avoid the typical entanglement of security protocol code, low-level cryptographic functions, and application logic. Obol keeps these three aspects separate, resulting in a clean, highly modular and very flexible security protocol framework.

Think of it as trying to do for security protocols what SQL did for databases.

What's it implemented in?

The most mature (and actively developed) runtime version is implemented in Java, using ANTLR for the parsing. Earlier prototypes were implemented in Common Lisp and Python.

What can it be used for?

Security protocols, or any protocol structure that involve composition and transformation. Obol is interpreted, and protocols can very easily be upgraded. The runtime's modular structure allows for new message representation formats, cryptographic primitives, communication technology and so on, to be added dynamically.

What does it look like?

As an example, consider the typical way a message in a security protocol is described:. .



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version 0.2007.01.19
size in Kb 154
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