Re: [Json] FYI ECMA, W3C, IETF coordination on JSON

"Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <> Tue, 08 October 2013 19:49 UTC

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Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2013 12:48:46 -0700
From: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <>
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To: Brian Kardell <>
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Cc: Allen Wirfs-Brock <>, John Cowan <>, JSON WG <>, Tim Bray <>, Larry Masinter <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: [Json] FYI ECMA, W3C, IETF coordination on JSON
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I had first thought that JSON was really really interoperable.  Then I saw all 
the problems JSON-LD had with JSON.  Then I looked closer and saw the problems 
in JSON with numbers, and strings, and arrays. Then I said to myself "There 
really is no problem - although the syntax of JSON is too loose, and the 
description is too loose, everyone interprets JSON as if it was transmitting 
ECMAScript values."  Then I realized that this is not the case, and, moreover, 
that even ECMAScript JSON doesn't match the intuitive description of JSON.

So I would say that JSON is only interoperable if you don't care too much 
about interoperability, and you don't hit any of the really ugly corner cases.

So why then is JSON so successful?  Well, it's easy to write, easy to read, 
matches programming language data fairly closely, and either you are both 
producer and consumer or you don't care that your system works correctly all 
the time so you don't care that JSON does not support interoperability.


On 10/08/2013 12:21 PM, Brian Kardell wrote:

> So I guess my big question I keep asking myself is this:  Despite the fact 
> that it didn't involve standards bodies and committees to get out the door - 
> JSON is really *really* interoperable.  There are potentially some edge 
> cases, but given its importance to the Web it does seem like the ECMA 
> version is the most important baseline here.  If we want to make 
> improvements, why not just invent some other thing - not JSON... Call it 
> "super json" or "phil" or - just something else...And let that something 
> else attempt to address perceived problems and make some minor comments 
> about the ability to parse a subset of it with the standard JSON parsers 
> that conform to ECMA-404 or something and then go out there and compete and 
> see if it actually does better.  Maybe it will and we can all go have beers 
> and laugh about it, but - maybe it won't and at least we don't have to break 
> things.
> -- 
> Brian Kardell :: @briankardell