Dave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.
"The protoblogger." - NY Times.
"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.
"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.
"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.
10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.
One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.
"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.
"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.
"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.
8/2/11: Who I Am.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
As you may recall, I wrote a JSON compiler and decompiler in October. After running a bunch of tests against other people's JSON, I was satisfied that it worked, and moved on. I mostly focused on the compiler, because that's usually the hard part, trying to understand all the variables that people can throw at you. JSON was, as advertised, pretty easy to work with (though not as easy, imho, as it could have been). No matter.
But there's a problem with the JSON.
Each group of news bits is organized as a bunch of scalar data, like feed name, url, when the feed was last read, etc. Then there are one or more news items. If there's one item I just include a struct named item. If there's more than one I include a list of structs. The list is named item. I understood this is the convention for repeating elements in JSON.
In the screen shot above, there are two "updatedFeed" elements. The first has only one item, the second has more than one.
This causes problems for people in some languages because (apparently) it's hard for them to deal with an object without, in advance, knowing its type. So they say the solution is simple, always make it a list. Simple for them, but...
But this is not so simple on my end. Because I'm using a generic JSON serializer, and it would have no way of knowing that "item" should always be a list. Unless...
One way of dealing with this (that I don't like and won't do) is to make everything a list.
I was just wondering what other JSON-producing environments do in situations like this.
PS: I have a workaround I can do fairly quickly that side-steps the problem, so it won't ultimately be a deal-stopper. But I'd like to solve the problem entirely in the serializer if possible, so the solution can be work in other cases.