Java Object Notation API set for Java EE 7 inclusion

Java Community Process approves Oracle’s JSON spec request

Chris Mayer

Craved data interchange format is billed as the natural successor to XML

The Java Community Process has given the green light for the creation of a Java API to process Java Object Notation, the adaptable and easy-to-pick up lightweight data-interchange format.

Ten ‘Yes’ votes and six abstentions from the Executive Committee Members for Java SE/EE for JSR 353 – which aims to create a Java API that ‘produces and consumes JSON text in a streaming fashion similar to that of the StAX API for XML.’ The scope of the project also includes building an Java object model for JSON text using API classes.

The spec lead for the JSR is Oracle’s Jitendra Kotamraju - who filed the draft back in March 2011, hoping to create the JSON API. Kotamraju claims that Oracle want to include a JSON API within Java EE, although this is a standalone specification currently.

Derived from JavaScript, JSON was created by Douglas Crockford and is often used for serialising and transmitting structured data over a network connection. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, serving as an low-overhead alternative to XML. JSON can be learnt extremely quickly given its inclusion of concepts from other languages like C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python and others.

Of those who voted for the JSR, IBM states the following reason behind their decision:

IBM’s vote is based on the technical merits of this JSR and is not a vote on the licensing terms. IBM supports licensing models that create an open and level playing field by allowing third parties to create independent implementations of Java Specifications and that do not allow individuals or companies to exercise unnecessary control for proprietary advantage.

We support open source as a licensing model for contributions in the JCP, and would hope others will support this direction. This comment is not necessarily directed at the current business or license terms for this JSR, however, it is a statement of IBM’s preferred licensing model.

One of the newest members on the JCP Committee, Brazilian Java User Group, SouJava gave their thoughts on why JSR 353 was a good move:

JSON is clearly an important topic for our members and to the Java Community in general. This JSR will hopefully attract developers from existing implementations and we expect the spec lead to work hard to involve those developers and the broader community in the EG formation. From what we saw from the spec lead at JavaOne, this is already happening, what is very positive.

This view echoes that of commenters on the original draft, who already recognise other alternative frameworks available that do include JSON (such as JACKSON, GOOGLE-GSON, JSON-LIB) but realise the benefits of a standarised version for Java EE.

The projected release date is in the third quarter of 2012, with Oracle likely to roll it out in Java EE 7.

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