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The main problem is that there are many kinds of incompatible "data-structure streams". Using a scripting language doesn't solve the problem, it just standardises on one particular ad-hoc parser/serialiser combination (say, Python's pickle, for example).

That's fine for personal use, or in a single project, but doesn't scale like "dumb" text does.

If there was a non-ideal but reasonable standard serialization format, like maybe IFF [1] or BSON [2], it would still simplify things, and common tools like `cat` might support decoding them.

It would be easy to wrap an arbitrary other packed format inside a binary string, or an arbitrary text format inside a text string.

IFF is quite successful in certain areas, BTW.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interchange_File_Format [2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSON

You could always pass a message per line (so to speak) and use msgpack or json... if you want compression you could use json+gz

Of course, you could also do something similar with a 0mq adapter as well for a request/response server, which is available pretty much everywhere you might need it (language wise)... It's an interesting generic interface... however as I mostly use node for newer development, it's so trivial to use sockets or websockets directly for this, I'd just assume go that route... or for that matter, something like sockjs/shoe.

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