Python and JSON vs XML???
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 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-ws/2005Jul/0000.html 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://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,2180,1837433,00.asp and 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' take on: - 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, or what?
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