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Re: use of JSON instead of XML

  • From: Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 23:55:54 +0100

Re:  use of JSON instead of XML
On 25/06/18 23:41, Gareth Oakes wrote:
> I'm normally quite good at holding back from JSON vs XML discussions, 

Probably wise :-)

> but a recent project has made one point quite clear to me. JSON is
> often selected pragmatically, my reasoning is presented below.>
>>  On 25/06/18 06:17, Mukul Gandhi wrote:[...]
>>  > 2) Architects have been choosing JSON in general, instead of XML as a
>>  > data exchange syntax. Perhaps this is because, JSON is simple to use
>>  > instead of XML.
>>    This is a popular fallacy, exposed many times, most recently by Debbie
>>    Lapeyre in her closing keynote at the MarkupUK Conference in London a
>>    few weeks ago.
> Firstly, I'm not convinced it is a fallacy (that Architects are choosing JSON over XML). 

That's not what I meant (sorry about the implicit antecedent referent):
I meant it's a fallacy that JSON is simpler to use than XML.

> I believe XML is a dirty word in many circles and architects will
> choose JSON or YAML or something else when it suits. 

Yes, XML is mouthed with distaste by many developers.

> On to my actual point. One sound reason that JSON is selected is 
> pragmatism. JSON is a Javascript-native format that you can easily
> use within Javascript, with few surprises and little training.


> I'm certain others on this list will quote a variety of useful 
> Github libraries, npm packages, or jQuery/ExtJS/etc. framework
> methods that help with XML; my point is that these are considered
> ways of *dealing with* XML.

Very good point. They help non-XML people overcome their lack of training.

> I feel that, given the primacy of Javascript, most of the time JSON
> is the safe choice because it is easy to work with given developers'
> existing toolsets and training.
I think that's correct if you restrict your view to the web, and there
are few who would disagree with your analysis.

But XML's primary domain is text document content, and much of that is
never exposed directly on the web, so JSON is simply irrelevant, and
wouldn't work even if you tried.

Peter Flynn | Principal Consultant | Silmaril Consultants | Cork 🇮🇪
Ireland | ☎ +353 86 824 5333 | ✉ peter@silmaril.ie | 🌍

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