XNM - Xnm is Not a Markup language

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API's documentation

About XNM

The prevailing meta-format used today for serialization is XML. XML was originally written as a markup language, and as such its original intent was to add additional information to free flowing text. This is indeed what is needed in the context of text markup, e.g. for a web page or a word processor program. But using XML for general purpose object serialization generates very verbose serialization that are way larger than necessary.

Another shortcoming of XML is that there still is no support for binary objects. This again is partly based in its markup roots.

It was with this in mind that XNM was created. Its design philosophy is:

Examples of XNM

The following example shows a simple program configuration file:
  fontsize: 16
  fonts: { roman:  Sans
           italic: "Sans Italic"
	   bold:   "Sans bold"
  path: ["/usr/bin" "/bin" "/usr/local/bin"]

Here is another example copied from the wikipedia json page:
    firstName: John
    lastName: Smith
    address: {
        city: "New York, NY"
        zipCode: 10021
        streetAddress: "21 2nd Street"
    phoneNumbers: [
        "212 732-1234"
        "646 123-4567"

The main (only) differences to JSON are: Here is a third example translated from the gaim prefs file:
core => {
  away => {
  buddies => {}
  contact => {
    last_match => 0
    offline_score => 2
    away_score => 2
    idle_score => 1
  gaim => {
    gtk=> {
      browsers=> {
	command=>"xterm -e lynx %s"
      plugins => [

Note that the separater character used between keys and values is => combination like in perl.

Future plans

Comments to: Dov Grobgeld <dov.grobgeld (a) gmail.com> - Last modified Sat 2007-01-13 23:51
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