There are times when you may be unsure what format to choose when transmiting data between a server and web application. Here are a few reasons why you might choose to use JSON rather than XML and a few why you might choose XML rather than JSON.
What is JSON?
Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Json
What is XML?
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. XML’s design goals emphasize simplicity, generality, and usability over the Internet.
Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML
Reasons to choose JSON over XML
- JSON requires less tags than XML – XML items must be wrapped in open and close tags whereas JSON you just name the tag once
- Because JSON is transportation-independent, you can just bypass the XMLHttpRequest object for getting your data.
- You can get JSON data from anywhere, not just your own domain. There’s no more proxy server nonsense.
- Yahoo has a really good YUI2 JSON API.
- JSON is easier to read than XML – Obviously a personal preference
Reasons to choose XML over JSON
- Easy to take XML and apply XSLT to make XHTML.
- XML is supported by many more desktop applications than JSON.
- Simply, AJAX includes XML in it and not JSON.
Still can’t decide? Flip a coin or use a JSON/XML converter.
Sam Deering has 15+ years of programming and website development experience. He was a website consultant at Console, ABC News, Flight Centre, Sapient Nitro, and the QLD Government and runs a tech blog with over 1 million views per month. Currently, Sam is the Founder of Crypto News, Australia.
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