Friday, December 22, 2006

XML or JSON? Experience or Enthusiasm

Tim thinks it is over. XML wins by virtue of wider applicability over JSON's ease of application. There is something ironic in that but let it be.

It is never over. Generation follows generation and the hardest thing to pass on is experience. Each generation thinks it is smarter than the one that precedes it and the enthusiasm that comes of believing in a simpler solution winning over a complex one leads to adoption, fielding and a certain witlessness with respect to the complexity of the real requirements. That tension is the source of the wobbliness in truly open systems.

It's never over until the system dies. I stopped worrying about that one a decade ago when the much smaller and much simpler specification hit the floor when The Brave Eleven believed they were making the web safe from the legions of much more complex standards without acknowledging a ream of many more and much larger specifications would follow to close the gaps.

One generation follows another. The real victory is not that this or that technology triumphs, but that in the wobbliness one hears the sound of people all over the world speaking to one another across the gaps.

Merry Christmas! Where there is a Santa Claus, we believe in simpler answers. Where there is only a Christmas spirit, we find the hope that belief is enough to get us to next year and that it perhaps will be easier than this one, or richer, or more filled with love. One year follows another. As long as that is so and we are here talking about, it is.

1 comment:

Reed Hedges said...

Hey Len,

XML, JSON-- whatever. When are we going to finally get rid of these stupid *files* and be able to just work with our data -- truly "on-line". Why are we still crafting punchcards and running them through the machine?

Reed

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