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

John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org> Wed, 19 February 2014 17:25 UTC

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Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 12:25:11 -0500
From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
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Subject: Re: [Json] Nudging the English-language vs. formalisms discussion forward
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Tim Bray scripsit:

> > The point is to focus the discussion on the data going over the wire
> > rather than the syntax.
> 
> Here is where we disagree absolutely. The point is to specify the syntax
> clearly and unambiguously, and the semantics of its payload.  Trying to
> come at it from the other direction (specifying data structures and then
> extracting syntax) leads to huge mistakes like CORBA and WS-*.

I agree absolutely with Tim, if it wasn't clear before.  Semantics is vague
and fuzzy (my semantics of your JSON may consist solely in counting the
number of fields in the top-level object, for example).  Syntax is not.
Agreement on syntax promotes interoperation; agreement on semantics
takes forever, pushing syntax to the rear, thus tending to create bad syntax.

-- 
What asininity could I have uttered     John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
that they applaud me thus?              http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
        --Phocion, Greek orator