Re: [Json] Normative reference reasoning and logistics

Tim Bray <> Sun, 01 May 2016 21:58 UTC

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From: Tim Bray <>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 13:58:06 -0700
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To: "Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr)" <>
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Subject: Re: [Json] Normative reference reasoning and logistics
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Never seen anything quite like this in an RFC, but it doesn’t feel crazy or

I share the opinion expressed by others here that ECMA-404 is largely
ignored and of marginal relevance, but I gather there’s a perceived benefit
in establishing that ECMA & IETF are in sync on this subject.

On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 10:06 AM, Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr) <> wrote:

> Going back to an earlier point in the thread:
> On 11/14/15, 11:10 AM, "Tim Bray" <> wrote:
> >So, is there a *real* reason why a normative reference might be useful? I
> think there might be, and it's purely rhetorical (in the formal sense,
> designed to support an argument): To make it clear to the world
> > that all JSON is the same JSON no matter where it's specified.  So I
> think it would be plausible to add the following to the second paragraph of
> section 1.2 of 7159 (for convenience:
> > ):
> >
> >“The reference to ECMA-404 in the previous sentence is normative, not
> with the usual meaning that implementors need to consult it in order to
> understand this document, but to emphasize that there are no
> inconsistencies in the definition of the term “JSON text” in any of its
> specifications. Note, however, that ECMA-404 allows several practices which
> this specification recommends avoiding in the interests of maximal
> interoperability.”
> I like this text a lot.  Adding a few more points would be useful, I
> believe:
> - The intent is that the grammar is the same between the two documents,
> although different descriptions are used.  If there a difference is found
> between them, ECMA and the IETF will work together to update both documents.
> - If an error is found with either document, the other should be examined
> to see if it has a similar error, and fixed if possible.
> - If either document is changed in the future, ECMA and the IETF will work
> together to ensure that the two documents stay aligned through the change.
> There is liaison work to do to ensure that ECMA-404bis has similar
> language, but I wouldn't have any problem with us publishing a 7159bis
> draft that included language like this before ECMA is fully onboard.
> --
> Joe Hildebrand
> _______________________________________________
> json mailing list

- Tim Bray (If you’d like to send me a private message, see