Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are we done with XML yet? hello JINI

I have never been a fan of XML, I've hated it from "day one", the format is too inefficient, too bloated; I have had some ideas on things that can be done to reduce the size on xml data sets, such as having some kind of header definition embedded at the top of the file and other ideas, but the point of this post is not to talk those ideas, but rather my own proposal to start getting rid of xml.

One area where I find particularly painful to use XML is on configuration files and my proposal to fix this problem is to formalize a new format, which I call JINI for now. JINI is a subset of JSON similar in simplicity to the good old .ini files and it's used specifically for configuration purposes to replace all those app.config xml configuration files

- Simple
- No brackets
- Simple
- Shorter
- Easier to read
- Simpler
- Everything that can be expressed in XML, can be expressed in JINI, but simpler

Too bad "jini" is kinda already taken (2 million results on Google and 714K on Bing say so)

I thought someone would have come up with this idea already, but a quick search gave me nothing, so I thought I would get the ball rolling

what do you think?


Vadym Stetsiak said...

It would be good if you provide some examples, say some piece of XML document and then corresponding JINI sample.

Olivier Dagenais said...

Take a look at YAML first. It's pretty simple and easy to read.

The thing is, XML already has lots of great libraries and tools to validate, read, write and edit it. Even Visual Studio is pretty good at providing intellisense if your XML file has a schema associated with it. So whatever markup you come up with will instantly have all that competition to fight with.

BlackTigerX said...

@Vadym I will provide some examples, just wanted to get the idea out there first and see what people think

@Olivier Sure, XML took over the world, but we can do better than that, just as XML was adopted because it was simpler for many people at that point, we can change it again

BlackTigerX said...

the *disadvantage* of yaml is that is yet another format, whereas JSON has established it self as a web standard, which is also a reason that there are a good amount of libraries for it already, so we can leverage that

Paul Fox said...

I'm a fan of JSON. I would be interested in seeing your ideas on improvements to the specification if possible.

Post some examples. =)

Anonymous said...

@BlackTigerX YAML is actually a superset of JSON. Yaml is JSON