RE: [json] Re: Comments
- As Martin already said, JSON used to have comments. I don't know what
led to the stringent opinion (perhaps from field experience) that they
are so harmful as to warrant their complete removal from the spec.
There's no question that comments should ever be used to transmit
anything meaningful, but who is? My only case in point was debugging and
possibly comments for human consumption, none of which should be
expected to survive to the production environment. If an encoder MUST
NOT output comments then there is no need for a decoder to ever have to
accept comments. It simply isn't legal JSON anymore if any mention of
comments is absent from the specification. Does the following sound
A given JSON encoder implementation MAY allow for output of comments. A
JSON decoder SHOULD accept and ignore comments. In any event, comments
MUST NOT be used to communicate anything meaningful that changes or
enhances the semantics and interpretation of the data in programs
producing and consuming JSON.
The last remark is really a warning and you can only warn people so
much. After that, if they still want go ahead and shoot themselves in
the foot then so be it. :-)
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 9:32 PM
Subject: [json] Re: Comments
JSON does not have comments. A JSON encoder MUST NOT output comments.
A JSON decoder MAY accept and ignore comments.
Comments should never be used to transmit anything meaningful. That is
what JSON is for.
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- Funny thing is, YAML was designed for human consumption as much as a
more in the LISP camp than the C camp , i.e., designed for expressive
power rather than bit-munging.
Programmers spend half their time looking at code. Ergonomics matter.
If line speed is a premium, why allow insignificant whitespace at all?
If line speed was a premium (and human consumption irrelevant), I'd be
using ASN.1 anyway; it is well established in the telecom world, and
there are tons of software and utilities that will help you with the
Think of comments as something that belong to a separate namespace. The
JSON parser should have no other business with comments than ignoring
them. If ECMAScript syntax for comments is too loose for easy parsing,
The alternative is an informal standard for comment properties that in
effect turns me into a carbon-based compiler and requires applications
to share a notation for comments anyway.
Atif Aziz wrote:
>>I think the real crux...
> As I said, I have a sneaking hunch that the real issue stems from tying
> JSON to YAML. With the comments debate generating some traffic, I feel
> less daring at this point to open up the disappearing of single-quoted
> strings gone as well as unquoted member names (at least on the decoding
> end). I am hoping Douglas will provide some insight so everyone can
> build a better understanding of the decisions that lead to several
> cutbacks in the specs. I think focusing the discussion too much on
> comments is really just avoiding a more fundamental issue. Does anyone
> agree or am I just rambling here?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
> Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:03 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [json] Re: Comments
> I think the real crux of this is simply, you cannot create a json
> format string through encoding from existing data that would contain
> comments (IIRC). It is only from people creating a json format string
> by hand.
> It is a fairly weak argument that the standard should support
> something that is not going to be used by the majority of people and
> probably not in production, from an early version of the standard,
> especially given that there are other ways get the same information
> across using the current standard.
> If you want to block out sections of json for ease of testing, then
> comment out the properties of the objects you are encoding, not /**/
> in some hand edited string.
> If you want to include comments about an object, include it in a
> property of the object.
> If you feel a need to include very detailed breakdowns, write a spec
> for the object your passing, it shouldn't be in the data stream.
> Your suggestion on wording is really avoiding the issue of why it
> should remain when there are other workable alternatives, and
> suggesting that it remain part of the standard just because it was
> once thought to be useful.
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