2. Introduction

The COMSTACK subsystem provides a transparent interface to different types of transport stacks for the exchange of BER-encoded data and HTTP packets. At present, the RFC1729 method (BER over TCP/IP), local UNIX socket and an experimental SSL stack are supported, but others may be added in time. The philosophy of the module is to provide a simple interface by hiding unused options and facilities of the underlying libraries. This is always done at the risk of losing generality, and it may prove that the interface will need extension later on.


There hasn't been interest in the XTImOSI stack for some years. Therefore, it is no longer supported.

The interface is implemented in such a fashion that only the sub-layers constructed to the transport methods that you wish to use in your application are linked in.

You will note that even though simplicity was a goal in the design, the interface is still orders of magnitudes more complex than the transport systems found in many other packages. One reason is that the interface needs to support the somewhat different requirements of the different lower-layer communications stacks; another important reason is that the interface seeks to provide a more or less industrial-strength approach to asynchronous event-handling. When no function is allowed to block, things get more complex - particularly on the server side. We urge you to have a look at the demonstration client and server provided with the package. They are meant to be easily readable and instructive, while still being at least moderately useful.