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Re: [json] Re: Comments

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  • Martin Cooper
    ... Huh? If I m writing an encoder that takes a Java data structure and encodes it into JSON, it would make perfect sense to me to generate comments (in
    Message 1 of 42 , Jan 3, 2006
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      On 1/3/06, MPCM <WickedLogic@...> wrote:
      >
      > 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.


      Huh? If I'm writing an encoder that takes a Java data structure and encodes
      it into JSON, it would make perfect sense to me to generate comments (in
      development mode) that tell me what Java structure was being encoded. So,
      for example, I might output "/* java.util.HashMap */" in my JSON encoding
      before I render the corresponding JSON object. That is certainly not "by
      hand", and it would be useful to be able to debug, at development time. In
      production, I would simply turn off commenting in my encoder.

      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.


      Encoding metadata as data is neither a good idea nor possible without
      changing the underlying data structure of the encoded object. That is *far*
      more error prone than simply using a comment.

      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.


      That's only one use case.

      If you want to include comments about an object, include it in a
      > property of the object.


      That's encoding metadata as data again. It changes the data structure that
      the recipient expects to receive. And what property name should I choose for
      my metadata when I'm encoding an arbitrary Java hash map into a JSON 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.


      I haven't seen any workable alternatives yet. Encoding metadata as data sure
      isn't one. There is a place for comments in JSON, and I simply don't see any
      reason to not allow for them.

      --
      Martin Cooper


      --
      > Matt
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      > Yahoo! Groups Links
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Peter Ring
      Funny thing is, YAML was designed for human consumption as much as a language-neutral serializing format. And JSON s ancestry (JavaScript) is more in the LISP
      Message 42 of 42 , Jan 5, 2006
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        Funny thing is, YAML was designed for human consumption as much as a
        language-neutral serializing format. And JSON's ancestry (JavaScript) is
        more in the LISP camp than the C camp [1], 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
        dirty details.

        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,
        restrict it.

        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.

        [1] http://www.crockford.com/javascript/little.html

        Kind regards
        Peter Ring

        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: json@yahoogroups.com [mailto:json@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        > MPCM
        > Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:03 PM
        > To: json@yahoogroups.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.
        >
        > --
        > Matt
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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