A Canonical S-expression (or csexp) is a binary encoding form of a subset of general S-expression (or sexp). It was designed for use in SPKI to retain the power of S-expressions and ensure canonical form for applications such as digital signatures while achieving the compactness of a binary form and maximizing the speed of parsing. The particular subset of general S-expressions applicable here is composed of atoms, which are byte strings, and parentheses used to delimit lists or sub-lists. These S-expressions are fully recursive.

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  • A Canonical S-expression (or csexp) is a binary encoding form of a subset of general S-expression (or sexp). It was designed for use in SPKI to retain the power of S-expressions and ensure canonical form for applications such as digital signatures while achieving the compactness of a binary form and maximizing the speed of parsing. The particular subset of general S-expressions applicable here is composed of atoms, which are byte strings, and parentheses used to delimit lists or sub-lists. These S-expressions are fully recursive. While S-expressions are typically encoded as text, with spaces delimiting atoms and quotation marks used to surround atoms that contain spaces, when using the canonical encoding each atom is encoded as a length-prefixed byte string. No whitespace separating adjacent elements in a list is permitted. The length of an atom is expressed as an ASCII decimal number followed by a ":". (en)
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http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
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  • A Canonical S-expression (or csexp) is a binary encoding form of a subset of general S-expression (or sexp). It was designed for use in SPKI to retain the power of S-expressions and ensure canonical form for applications such as digital signatures while achieving the compactness of a binary form and maximizing the speed of parsing. The particular subset of general S-expressions applicable here is composed of atoms, which are byte strings, and parentheses used to delimit lists or sub-lists. These S-expressions are fully recursive. (en)
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  • Canonical S-expressions (en)
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