Re: [Json] Nudging the English-language vs. formalisms discussion forward

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Wed, 19 February 2014 15:56 UTC

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Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:56:38 -0500
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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
To: Paul Hoffman <>
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Subject: Re: [Json] Nudging the English-language vs. formalisms discussion forward
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Perhaps we could do it a different way

What features/non features would people like from a formalism for
describing protocols of which JSON is at least one example?

If people want a feature and it is compatible with other feature proposals
then I can add it to my open source tool. However it must be noted that the
strongest feature request is 'simplicity'.

Are people writing tools because they want to write tools or because they
want a feature in a tool? If that feature can be described as a requirement
rather than an implementation, that is even easier.

Since my JSON Web Service has a HTTP binding, I have to have a minimal HTTP
client in the library as an option. While knocking up a simple HTTP header
parser, I suddenly discovered that the HTTP headers are regular enough that
they can be described using the same schema as JSON.

When we did the KEYPROV working group, the main spec is in XML but a group
said 'all our stuff is in ASN.1, we want a version in that' since the group
in question were the IETF Chair and a Security AD, this was a pretty strong

So even though my view is that JSON is the data model I intend to use for
all future protocols (unless something else comes along), It seems to me
that if we design a formal documentation/prototyping tool we should have it
be capable of dumping out the equivalent XML and ASN.1 schemas. But since
the capabilities of XML and ASN.1 schema are a superset of the capabilities
of JSON, this is pretty easy to do.

On Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM, Paul Hoffman <>wrote;wrote:

> [[ Phill is the only one who has responded with a proposal to speak.
> Hearing whether others want to would be useful. --Paul Hoffman ]]
> It's been a week, and yet I can't imagine that everything has been said
> with respect to our proposed charter item that now stands at:
>   A set of natural-language terms and/or phrases for use in future
> specifications
>   that use JSON. This explicitly excludes schema languages and similar
> formalisms.
> After that, a bunch of people started talking about formalisms and actual
> schemas again. In order to get this decided, we need more discussion and
> then agreement. To that end, and to put our 90 minutes on Friday afternoon
> in London to best use, I will ask for at least three people to present
> their views in 10-minute presentations at the meeting. However, in order to
> cause this to not be the normal IETF "let's wait for the meeting" game, the
> presentations need to be done by next Monday, Feb. 24. That gives people on
> the list a preview of what will be said, time to argue about it, and time
> for the presenters to hone their slides if they want.
> Let me know online or offline if you want to do a presentation. If you're
> not going to be at the meeting but want to say something, you need to find
> some like-minded soul with whom to work on the presentation.
> --Paul Hoffman
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