More Stack Overflow Stuff

  1. I was on Stack Overflow Podcast #84 along with the rest of the StackExchange team.
  2. I also wrote up some architectural changes to StackExchange.

Reading Stack Overflow Makes Me Do Strange Things

When browsing Stack Overflow I occasionally find myself doing ridiculous (programming related) things just because some one says something that my insane mind interprets as a challenge.


For instance, after reading "There is no "one-to-one" mapping between XML and JSON..." I though to myself "Sure there is!"

JSON has much less meta-data (or baggage...) than XML generally rendering it more compact and, most importantly, much simpler. So:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<eveapi version="2">
  <currentTime>2009-01-25 15:03:27</currentTime>
    <rowset columns="name,characterID,corporationName,corporationID" key="characterID" name="characters">
      <row characterID="999999" corporationID="999999" corporationName="filler data" name="someName"/>
  <cachedUntil>2009-01-25 15:04:55</cachedUntil>

... could instead be written as:

    "time": "2009-01-25 15:03:27",
    "cachedUtil": "2009-01-25 15:04:55"
    "characters": [
            "characterID": "999999",
            "corporationID", "999999",
            "corporationName": "filler data",
            "name": "someName"

... it doesn't capture everything but it has all the data, it's easier to read and it is simple. Unfortunately, to achieve a 1-to-1 mapping from XML to JSON we need to store attributes, namespaces and other nasty XML stuff, but JSON nodes don't have metadata, they just have regular data.

You can; however, represent an Element Node (think DOM) using a JSON dictionary relatively easily. So:

<ant:property name="value" />

... becomes:

    "element": "property",
    "namespace-uri": "",
    "children" : []
    "attributes": [
        ["name", "value"]

Which means that our previous XML snippet could be represented as:

 "attributes": [["version", "2"]],
 "children": [{"attributes": [],
               "children": ["2009-01-25 15:03:27"],
               "name": "currentTime",
               "namespace-uri": ""},
              {"attributes": [],
               "children": [{"attributes": [["key", "characterID"],
                                            ["name", "characters"]],
                             "children": [{"attributes": [["corporationName",
                                                           "filler data"],
                                           "children": [],
                                           "name": "row",
                                           "namespace-uri": ""},
                             "name": "rowset",
                             "namespace-uri": ""},
               "name": "result",
               "namespace-uri": ""},
              {"attributes": [],
               "children": ["2009-01-25 15:04:55"],
               "name": "cachedUntil",
               "namespace-uri": ""},
 "name": "eveapi",
 "namespace-uri": ""

... and you though XML was verbose. So you can represent an XML document in JSON but you essentially have to store the parse tree. Welcome to Missed the Pointville, population you (or me as the case may be).

I guess the statement stands.

Shout Out from the Stack Overflow Blog

Friday, I got a shout out on the Stack Overflow blog. A small one, that wasn't really merited... Man, I'm way too excited to see my handle on someone else's website.

Maybe, I should actually contribute something to the WMD bug fixing so that I'm a little more deserving next time.