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Re: [json] Re: Comments

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  • Martin Cooper
    ... In this specific example, I might choose to do this because multiple Java types map to the same JSON type, and it could help me a lot with identifying
    Message 1 of 42 , Jan 3, 2006
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      On 1/3/06, Douglas Crockford <douglas@...> wrote:
      >
      > > 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.
      >
      > Why would you do that?


      In this specific example, I might choose to do this because multiple Java
      types map to the same JSON type, and it could help me a lot with identifying
      which part of my code is wrong if I know whether a particular JSON array
      started life as a Java array or as a List, ArrayList, or whatever. If you
      need other examples to be convinced, I'm sure I can come up with them. ;-)

      This is in development mode, where I want all the help I can get in
      debugging my app. JavaScript inside a browser isn't the easiest environment
      to debug in.

      What expectation do you have of the receiver?


      Depends on how you define the receiver. Fundamentally, this is something
      that's going to show up as a string, that I can then choose what to do with.
      In production, I'll almost certainly just eval it and get on with things. In
      development mode, I might want to display the JSON string in a debug window
      before (or after) I eval it, where I can look at it and see if I got what I
      was expecting. The comments are solely for me, the developer, and can and
      should be ignored by everything else.

      Why waste the bandwidth?


      I don't give a rat's ass about bandwidth at development time. I want to get
      my job done as quickly and as easily as I can. I'm not going to use comments
      in production.

      What, specifically, is the value?


      My time. Developer time is the most valuable and the scarcest resource in
      software development. Anything that can help reduce the time it takes to
      complete a working product is exceptionally valuable.

      IMHO, to exclude comments from JSON on the basis that someone _might_ encode
      something insidious in them, or _might_ slow down _their_ app by using them
      in production, just doesn't jibe with the possibility that they can save
      developer time and speed products to market.

      --
      Martin Cooper


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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
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