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- To: XML Developers List <email@example.com>
- Subject: Python and JSON vs XML???
- From: Michael Champion <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 00:04:48 -0700
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I note with interest that the world seems to be going in several
directions at once with respect to the relationship between
programming language objects and XML.
For some time now we've seen the JSON "fat-free alternative to XML"
http://www.crockford.com/JSON/xml.html direction that some in the AJAX
world are taking to address both XML's inefficiency and the mismatch
with programming languages. Now I see that many in the Python
community have a similar attitude toward XML
http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2005/08/24/py-xml.html and encourage its use
only when necessary to exchange data with non-Python apps.
W3C seems to be going in a more conventional direction, thinking
about a working group to define schema patterns for databinding
Likewise it is wrestling (behind the member-only firewall, sorry) with
the results of the XML Binary Characterization working group's
suggestion to standardize a binary XML format to address XML's
perceived inefficiency as a data interchange format in some scenarios.
It might be inferred from
http://commnet.microsoftpdc.com/content/sessions.aspx (query for
"XML") that Microsoft is addressing the programming - XML mismatch not
by moving away from XML but by supporting XML-friendly concepts deeper
in programming languages. (Details will be announced at PDC, until
then ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies).
I'm not sure what to make of all this, other than that there is a lot
of dissatisfaction with the status quo with respect to XML and
programming, and a lot of experimentation going on to address it.
Some approaches might threaten XML's story as a universal data
interchange format, or might revitalize it by scraping off the cruft,
we shall see. A few questions I'd be interested in hearing others'
- I'm trying to understand whether JSON has a value proposition
outside of AJAX scenarios. Is JSON or Python significantly faster to
parse into usable objects than data-bound XML? Is anyone suggesting
it (or some Pythonic equivalent) to address the types of use cases
that binary XML is targeted at?
- Could something like JSON become Yet Another Infoset Serialization
Format You Have To Deal With if binary XML gets momentum and opens up
the possibility of alternative serializations for different
environments? Or is it just conceptually easier to deal with a single
object syntax rather than fooling with XML when you have the luxury of
working in the same dynamic language in all parts of a system, so and
this really isn't a threat to XML's value proposition?
- The idea of programming languages in XML syntax seems to be on the
wane (other than XSLT of course, which is not *really* a programming
lanuage even if it is Turing-complete). The idea of integrating XML
ideas into programming languge syntax seems to be on the rise, e.g.
the JSON and Python stuff, E4X, C-omega and friends, Java's apparent
plans in the Dolphin release, etc. Anyone disagree?
- What happened to the "XML is text, dammit" advocates who used to
rant about how all this is misguided nonsense? Quietly getting their
work done, obliviously watching TV in the retirement home, lurking
patiently to say "I TOLD YOU SO" when the smelly stuff hits the fan,