Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Late to the JSON bus - In a nutshell, its a simplified hack that is easy to work with even in its ugliness

By Andrew Pollack on 08/08/2007 at 10:10 AM EDT

Many people in the blogging community around Lotus Domino have been pushing JSON for a while now. These are mostly user interface oriented people who do a lot more front end web site development than I do. I'm late to the table with this technology, but on investigation it looks like the best workaround to a bad situation I've seen yet.

I want to talk more about JSON in the context of some suggestions for the Domino server rendering useful data. I'll do that in another post, but for now, here's a very quick primer.

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, Web Services work fine for many things, but not the Web itself as rendered in a browser. That's a shame by itself. Web Services move data around in this incredibly hyper-complicated sub class of XML called SOAP that is really on effectively rendered and parsed by standard program code libraries. Doing it yourself is a nightmare of twisty passages, all the same.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is simply a way of passing data to a web page in a serialized notation that is very easy to reconstitute into a javascript object. The hack is that it takes advantage of one of the most flexible aspects of javascript. Javascript can render almost anything -- including itself -- as text very easily. What makes JSON work, is that if you take a javascript object and render it as a text string, you can quickly convert it back to javascript object without losing the characteristics of that object. It is just like "serializing" an object in other languages, only the nature of javascript's un-typed variables makes it much simpler.

A simple object with two properties might be like this:

XMLJSON
<person>
<first name>Andrew</firstname>
<last name>Pollack</lastname>
</person>
{"person": {
"firstname": "Andrew",
"lastname": "Pollack"}
}

While the XML is more flexible and at a glance looks easier -- the difference comes in how it gets used in the javascript. To turn the JSON back into an object:


var person = {"person": { "firstname": "Andrew", "lastname": "Pollack" } } ;

alert(person.firstname);


There are  - loading -  comments....



Other Recent Stories...

  1. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism?Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? I read a really insightful post a couple of days ago that suggested the use of social network funding sites like “Go Fund Me” and “Kickstarter” have come about and gained popularity in part because the existing economy in no longer serving its purpose for anyone who isn’t already wealthy. Have the traditional ways to get new ventures funded become closed to all but a few who aren’t already connected to them and so onerous as to make ...... 
  2. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertisingAn increasing number of websites are now detecting when users have ad-blocking enabled, and refuse to show content unless you "whitelist" their site (disable your ad-blocking for them). I think that is a fair decision on their part, it's how they pay for the site. However, if you want me (and many others) to white list your site, there are some rules you should follow. If you violate these rules, I won't whitelist your site, I'll just find content elsewhere. 1. The total space taken up by advertisements ...... 
  3. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction[] “The Expanse” is a new science fiction series being broadcast onthe Syfy channelthis winter. It’s closely based on a series of books by author James S. A. Corey beginning with “Leviathan Wakes”. There are 5 books in the “Expanse” series so far. If you’re a fan of the novels you’ll appreciate how closely the books are followed.TIP: The first five episodes are already available on Syfy.com. If you’re having trouble getting into the characters and plot, use those to get up to speed.The worlds created for ...... 
  4. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  5. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  6. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
  7. 06/02/2015Homeopathic Marketing: Traveler on my Android is now calling itself VERSE. Allow me to translate that for the IBM Notes community... 
  8. 03/17/2015A review of British Airways Premium Economy Service – How to destroy customer goodwill all at once 
  9. 02/26/2015There's a bug in how @TextToTime() and @ToTime() process date strings related to international standards and browser settings. 
  10. 01/21/2015Delivering two new presentations at Developer Camp (EntwicklerCamp) 2015 in Germany 
Click here for more articles.....


pen icon Comment Entry
Subject
Your Name
Homepage
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
 
Your thoughts....
 
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.