Magic Number Registry Design

James Aylett (
Sat, 26 Oct 1996 13:20:12 -0400 (EDT)

As a first step towards our goals, I intend to put together a custom database
format for the Registry, and a pair of Perl scripts that can massage it into
an HTML page or a magic-number file.

Here, to recap, is my preliminary design for the Registry fields.

(1) Recipe

This is a pattern, expressed in a recipe notation compatible with
that of Unix file(1), describing the primary and/or secondary magic
numbers and their offsets.

(2) Contact

A Web page or email contact for the person(s) responsible for the

(3) Status

One of: Experimental, Production, or Obsolete.

(4) Code

A code of at most 8 ASCII characters intended for use as a type
representation icon in text-only navigation tools.

(5) Icons

One or more 32x32 PNG icons intended for use as a type representation
icon in graphic navigation tools.

(5) Class

One of a set of semantic-class codes described below.

(6) Description

Text description of the format (in the style of Unix file(1)).

(7) Resources

Zero or more quadruples consisting of
(a) A name
(b) A resource type
Resource types may include Documentation, Viewer, Library,
Browser, Toolkit, Editor.
(c) An URL
(d) Comments

(8) Timestamp

Date of last update.

(9) Entered By

Email address of person responsible for entry.

(10) Comments

Registry maintainer's comments.

What else do we need? I'm looking for discussion, criticism, and design

	<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>