Went ahead and made debug-me use protocol buffers for its wire protocol. There's a nice haskell library for this that doesn't depend on anything else, and can generate them directly from data types, but I had to write a shim between the protobuf style data types and debug-me's internal data types. Took 250 lines of quite tedious code.

Then I finally implemented the trick I thought of to leave out the previous hash from debug-me messages on the wire, while still including cryptograhically secure proof of what the previous hash was. That reduced the overhead of a debug-me message from 168 bytes to 74 bytes!

I doubt debug-me's wire format will see any more major changes.

How does debug-me compare with ssh? I tried some experiments, and typing a character in ssh sends 180 bytes over the wire, while doing the same in debug-me sends 326 bytes. The extra overhead must be due to using websockets, I guess. At least debug-me is in the same ballpark as ssh.

Today's work was sponsored by Riku Voipio.