Dave Winer, JSON hater

2006-12-22 05:43:00

Let the hating begin.

Dave Winer finally has an actual look at the JSON format, and to his horror, finds that "IT’S NOT EVEN XML!" Ah, the hideous, "blood, guts, veins in my teeth" humanity of it all. In summary, here are his impressions:

No doubt I can write a routine to parse this, but look at how deep they went to re-invent, XML itself wasn’t good enough for them, for some reason (I’d love to hear the reason). Who did this travesty? Let’s find a tree and string them up. Now.

A lot of folks in the comments for this deeply silly post of Dave's take great pains to try to smooth his ruffled feathers by assuring him that the use of JSON, thank heavens, is pretty much limited to the world of Ajax/JavaScript programming. Fortunately for right-thinking people everywhere, Simon Willison has taken the time to write a nice, measured post in reponse on his blog that explains why this is simply not so.

I've done a fair amount of work with XML and JSON -- both in client-side JavaScript, and in server-side languages such as Ruby, PHP, and C#. And I can say pretty definitively that JSON is a reinvention of XML in much the same way that my Volkswagen GTI is a reinvention of the Ford Explorer.

Seriously, If you just want to serialize some data (and of course, if you're not one of the inventors of XML-RPC), there are lots of good reasons you might prefer JSON to XML.


This is the blog for Matthew Eernisse. I currently work at Yammer as a developer, working mostly with JavaScript. All opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's.


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