The Ashes

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September 9, 2009

Getting hyper about JSON namespacing

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General

Kris Zyp, JSON hero, has been cooking up some more good stuff on his path to reinventing a new path to all.

In JSON namespacing he discusses JSON Hyper Schema which aims to cure JSON from XML namespacing colon cancer.

JSON Hyper Schemas can be referenced from instances by Link headers or media type parameters. A simple example illustrates how JSON properties have universally locatable definitions:

JAVASCRIPT:

  1.  
  2. Content-Type: application/json; schema=http://www.book-warehouse.com/book-schema
  3. [
  4.   {“title”: “Oliver Twist”, “price”: 16.99},
  5.   {“title”: “Robinson Crusoe”, “price”: 15.99}
  6. ]
  7.  

This message gives the authoritative URI for the schema. With a look at the schema, we can see how each property has a corresponding definition with an authoritative URI as well:

JAVASCRIPT:

  1.  
  2. Content-Type: application/schema+json; schema=http://json-schema.org/hyper-schema
  3. {
  4.   “properties”: {
  5.      “title”: {“type”: “string”, “description”: “The title of the book”},
  6.      “price”: {“type”: “number”, “description”: “The price of the book in US”},
  7.   }
  8. }
  9.  

JSON Hyper Schema is a sufficient building block upon which we can realize the goals of namespacing, namely, meanings from distributed parties can be authoritatively ascribed to elements of a data structure with property name sharing and conflict resolution control. What is elegant about this approach is that basically nothing needs to be modified in the actual instance data structures themselves. URI attribution is done through media type parameters in combination with schemas. The actual data stays unchanged, it is still the original simple, easy to read, compact JSON. JSON namespacing not only fits with JSON technically, but it fits in spirit: data is simple and light.

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