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Tom Marrs on DZone's New JSON Refcard

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Tom Marrs on DZone's New JSON Refcard

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This week's Refcard  is a must-have reference to JavaScript Object Notation, a popular alternative to XML.  Tom Marrs, the card's author as well as the co-author of O'Reilly's JBoss at Work, took a few minutes to answer some question related to the authorship of DZone's latest Refcard.  He also had a few things to say about the current state of the XML vs. JSON debate. 

DZone: Tell us a little about your expertise with JSON.  How is it informed by your professional experience?  What are some JSON-related projects that you are proud of?

Tom Marrs: I started using JSON on a large Portal project in 2007 when I had to display a huge drop down list with thousands of elements. I had done XML for years, but I knew the data would be too big, and it would be too slow to parse. So, we turned to JSON. We used the Java-based SOJO API to convert Java objects to JSON, and (combined with AJAX), the drop down worked well and the site scaled up beautifully.

DZone: What makes this Refcard a must-have reference for JSON users?

Tom Marrs: The tooling. The JSON community has done so much to develop validators, modelers, etc., but until now most developers are unfamiliar with these excellent products that can help streamline RESTful web service development.

DZone: Where do you think the overly-broad JSON vs. XML conversation has landed currently?

Tom Marrs: JSON vs. XML. Due to the rise of JSON Schema, XML has now become legacy. I won't create new XML-based Web Services anymore unless someone absolutely requires it. Initially, JSON was (and still is) great for Web applications, but due to Schema, JSON is now a first-class player across the enterprise. JSON Schema enables architects and developers to provide a structure for the data exchanged between a Web Service and its consumers. According to the following DZone article, JSON is the dominant format for Streaming APIs: http://java.dzone.com/articles/streaming-apis-json-vs-xml-and

DZone: Where do you think JSON is becoming more popular in comparison to competing data formats?

Tom Marrs: JSON is becoming more popular with RESTful Web Services and Web Applications. JSON is now beginning to gain traction as a configuration data format. For example, the popular Sublime Text 2 IDE uses JSON files to configure user preferences.

DZone: Do you think JSON's rise in usage is a product of JavaScript's continuing rise in popularity?

Tom Marrs: Yes and No. JavaScript's rise in popularity is definitely leading to increased JSON usage, but so is the rise of RESTful Web Services (see the URL in item #3 above). REST and JSON go hand-in-hand because they are made for each other. They're light, easy to use and understand, standards-based, and enterprise-class.



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