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You're on the right track. This does however present us with a challenging problem: developing a single consistent efficient cross-platform language-independent form of storing and transmitting data (between programs).

It's something to ruminate upon.

This is already a partly solved challenge. Text streams don't magically come into existence, programs needs STDIN, STDOUT and STDERR at their disposal to use them.

All you really need are scalars, sequences and mappings to fully express any data structure. Tagged types would be sugar on top but it could quickly add unwanted complexity.

All you need is a shell capable of marshalling data between the different programs piped together. Powershell is a nice idea but it only runs .NET code and that's a limitation I can't live with.

Most json stringifiers will create a json with no line terminators that aren't inside escaped strings... so a json object terminated by a CR would seem to be a pretty logical data format for open text...

There's also msgpack, protocol buffers as well... I think the plain text of json that is readily a line per message is far simpler and easier to handle though.

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