Re: [Json] Regarding JSON text sequence ambiguities (Re: serializing sequences of JSON values)

Nico Williams <> Tue, 11 March 2014 18:08 UTC

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Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 13:08:11 -0500
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From: Nico Williams <>
To: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
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Cc: Paul Hoffman <>, Tim Bray <>, Matthew Morley <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: [Json] Regarding JSON text sequence ambiguities (Re: serializing sequences of JSON values)
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On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Phillip Hallam-Baker <> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM, Tim Bray <> wrote:
>> Heh, I wonder if there’d be any chance of getting consensus.  I can’t
>> imagine ever using anything but Object Object Object with optional
>> whitespace separator; unless we all agree on that going in I’d pessimistic
>> about anyone convincing anyone else...
> But JSON has comma separators, so {..}, {..}, {..} makes far more sense.

JSON text sequences would be a new Proposed Standard (if we go there)
but like JSON, there exist uses of this "new" thing already -- that
is, before we get to writing the RFC.

The uses of JSON text sequences that I know of use newlines, not
commas nor comma-and-newline.  The reason for this is that these use
cases are text logfile-like: the entries are lines, lines containing
JSON texts -- usually compact texts, i.e., with no newlines in the
text, and never more than one text per-line.

For me other uses of JSON text sequences generally result from my use
of jq, which also effectively separates texts with a newline.  Note
that jq doesn't need texts to be written compactly when parsing JSON
text sequences.  It happens though that if you write texts compactly
followed by a newline then you can implement JSON text sequences with
all existing JSON parsers.

Switching to using a comma-and-newline would require significant
retooling.  Therefore I don't see it happening.  Whereas just
separating JSON texts with newlines is in use because it's always been
the obvious thing to do.