Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

The fact that we keep re-implementing ideas like this means that there are a lot of valid use-cases for this kind of tool. The same applies to (JSON|XML)RPC, xpath|jq, and schemas. There are even folks currently developing namespaces for JSON!

I think it's human nature, as often as I see it repeating throughout history (and not just in the tech industry). Just wait, there will be a new JSON just over the horizon which will close the circle and bring back a very simplistic serialization format with a minimal number of built-in structures.

Perhaps it would be better to create a C++ of serialization formats, all the features out of the gate, so you can pick and choose from the beginning. Again, I think human nature means we can't go back to XML (too much horror associated with SOAP and WSDL), or even continue with JSON (custom and subtly incompatible parsers being built around the core to handle missing features).

This cycle keeps re-occurring in multiple places every few years because the ideas are in fact useful, but the surrounding ecosystem falls out of favor.

Old solutions accumulate cruft and start to need more expertise (and sometimes, straight wisdom) to operate well. People complain, blog posts are written, inertia and inaction are challenged; babies are thrown out of the bathwater as clean-room rewrites commence with different stacks, different tradeoffs, and often, different bikeshedding.

The new, shiny tool is promoted on its merits; some of that excitement inspires hype, which takes on a life of its own. Through a combination of informed usage and less-informed codemashing, the tool accumulates users from all walks of life, who turn into willing or unwilling stakeholders in its future. Development pressures pull the product in different ways, some people leave, eventually only the really passionate or really locked-in remain. These people acquire domain knowledge, "sometimes straight wisdom", making the solution -- its merits, design rationale, tradeoffs, and lessons learned -- more opaque to newcomers. Those newcomers find that existing solutions don't appear to do what they need at the level of complexity that they can grok. The cycle repeats.

> a very simplistic serialization format with a minimal number of built-in structures.

It's already here: protobufs.


Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact