This module is designed to allow one make Perl 6 types support encoding and decoding based on ASN.1-driven Basic Encoding Rules.


  • This is a beta release. Number of universal types is not even described and papercuts are possible.
  • Main driving power beneath this is a desire to avoid writing every LDAP type parsing and serializing code by hands. As a result, while some means to have more generic support of ASN.1 are being prepared, contributing code to support greater variety of ASN.1 definitions being expressed and handled correctly is appreciated.


  Rocket ::= SEQUENCE
     name      UTF8String (SIZE(1..16)),
     message   UTF8String DEFAULT "Hello World",
     fuel      ENUMERATED {solid, liquid, gas},
     speed     CHOICE
        mph    [0] INTEGER,
        kmph   [1] INTEGER
     }  OPTIONAL,
     payload   SEQUENCE OF UTF8String

# Necessary imports
use ASN::Types;
use ASN::Serializer;
use ASN::Parser;

# ENUMERATED is expressed as enum
enum Fuel <Solid Liquid Gas>;

# Mark CHOICE type as ASNChoice
class SpeedChoice does ASNChoice {
    method ASN-choice() {
        # Description of choice names, tags, types
        { mph => (1 => Int), kmph => (0 => Int) }

# Mark our SEQUENCE as ASNSequence
class Rocket does ASNType {
    has Str $.name is UTF8String; # UTF8String
    has Str $.message is default-value("Hello World") is UTF8String; # DEFAULT
    has Fuel $.fuel; # ENUMERATED
    has SpeedChoice $.speed is optional; # CHOICE + OPTIONAL
    has Str @.payload is UTF8String; # SEQUENCE OF UTF8String

    # `ASN-order` method is a single _necessary_ method
    # which describes an order of attributes of type (here - SEQUENCE) to be encoded/decoded
    method ASN-order() {
        <$!name $!message $!fuel $!speed @!payload>

my $rocket =
        name => 'Falcon',
        fuel => Solid,
        speed => => 18000)),
        payload => ["Car", "GPS"]

say ASN::Serializer.serialize($rocket, :mode(Implicit)); # for now only IMPLICIT tag schema is supported and flag is not really used
# `ASN::Serializer.serialize($rocket, :debug)` - `debug` named argument enables printing of basic debugging messages

# Result:
#            0x30, 0x1B, # Outermost SEQUENCE
#            0x0C, 0x06, 0x46, 0x61, 0x6C, 0x63, 0x6F, 0x6E, # NAME, MESSAGE is missing
#            0x0A, 0x01, 0x00, # ENUMERATED
#            0x81, 0x02, 0x46, 0x50, # CHOICE
#            0x30, 0x0A, # SEQUENCE OF UTF8String
#                0x0C, 0x03, 0x43, 0x61, 0x72,  # UTF8String
#                0x0C, 0x03, 0x47, 0x50, 0x53); # UTF8String

# Will return an instance of Rocket class parsed from `$rocket-encoding-result` Buf
say$rocket-encoding-result, :mode(Implicit));

ASN.1 "traits" handling rules

This part is a design draft that might be changed in case if any issue that hinders development of LDAP will de discovered

The main concept is to avoid unnecessary creation of new types that just serve as envelopes for actual data and avoid boilerplate related to using such intermediate types. Hence, when possible, we try to use native types and traits.

Tagging schema

For now, encoding is done as if DEFINITIONS IMPLICIT TAGS is applied for an outermost ASN.1 unit (i.e. "module"). Setting of other schemes is expected to be able to work via named argument passed to serialize|parse methods, yet this is not yet implemented.

Mapping from ASN.1 type to ASN::BER format

Definitions of ASN.1 types are made by use of:

  • Universal types (MessageID ::= INTEGER)

Universal types are mostly handled with Perl 6 native types, currently implemented are:

ASN.1 type Perl 6 type
UTF8String Str
SEQUENCE class implementing ASNSequence
SEQUENCE OF Foo Foo @.sequence
SET OF Foo ASNSetOf[Foo]
  • User defined types (LDAPDN ::= LDAPString)

If it is based on ASN.1 type, just use this underlying one; So:


results in

has Str $.ldapdn is OctetString; # Ignore level of indirectness in type

One can inherit a class from ASN::BER's types to make structure more strict if needed.

  • SEQUENCE elements (LDAPMessage ::= SEQUENCE {...})

Such elements are implemented as classes with ASNSequence role applied and ASN-order method implemented. They are handled correctly if nested, so a ::= SEQUENCE { ..., b SEQUENCE {...} } will translate a and include b as it's part, serializing the inner class instance.

  • SEQUENCE OF elements

Array sigil may be used has Foo @.foos. In future, possibly more generic way of writing will be provided.

  • SET elements (Foo ::= SET {})

Not yet implemented, though typed SET OF can be done with:

has ASNSetOf[Int] $.values;
submethod BUILD(Set :$values) { self.bless(values => ASNSetOf[Int].new($values)) }
  • CHOICE elements

CHOICE elements are implemented by ASNChoice role applying. For same types tagging must be used to avoid ambiguity, it is usually done using context-specific tags.

    authentication AuthenticationChoice

AuthenticationChoice ::= CHOICE {
  simple  [0] OCTET STRING,
            -- 1 and 2 reserved
  sasl    [3] SaslCredentials } -- SaslCredentials begin with LDAPString, which is a OCTET STRING


class AuthChoice is ASNChoice {
    # This example depicts a CHOICE with context-specific tags being provided
    # For cases where tag has an APPLICATION class, see example below
    # We are returning a Hash which holds a description of the CHOICE structure,
    # (name => (tag => type))
    method ASN-choice {
        { simple => (0 => ASN::Types::OctetString),
          sasl   => (3 => Cro::LDAP::Authentication::SaslCredentials) }

class A {
    has AuthChoice $.authentication;
}, authentication => (simple => "466F6F"));

simple is a key for the internal pair, which consists of a tag to use and a CHOICE option type.

Another option, when there is no ambiguity, are usages of

  • Universal type - are handled using appropriate universal types for a choice value.

  • User-defined type with APPLICATION-wide tag.

If ASN.1 has APPLICATION-wide tag declared, for example:

BindRequest ::= [APPLICATION 0] SEQUENCE {

it might be expressed implementing ASN-tag-value:

class BindRequest does ASNSequence {
    method ASN-order {...}
    method ASN-tag-value { 0 } # [APPLICATION 0]

In this case, when such type is used as a part of a CHOICE, internal pair of CHOICE values is replaced with just a type:

class ProtocolChoice does ASNChoice {
    method ASN-choice {
        { bindRequest => Cro::LDAP::Request::Bind,

class Request does ASNSequence {
    has ProtocolChoice $.protocol-op;

ASN-tag-value method will be called and its result will be used as an APPLICATION class tag during encoding/decoding process.

ASN.1 type traits


Apply is optional trait to an attribute.


Apply is default-value trait to an attribute. It additionally sets is default trait with the same value.