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Re: User-defined record types

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: User-defined record types
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 19:24:19 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.130008 (Ma Gnus v0.8) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

On Fri, 18 Oct 2013 11:28:17 -0400 Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote: 

>> Something that represents JSON and YAML well would be nice.  Currently
>> we don't have an ELisp data structure that can preserve all JSON nuances
>> without acrobatics (e.g. preserving the difference between "null" and
>> "empty list" or the native JSON data types).

SM> I don't understand what you mean here.  It's very easy to have special
SM> values, e.g. (defconst json-null (make-symbol "json-null")).

Yes, but it's not something you can communicate externally.  Compare
with pure JSON or BSON, which are intended for communication across

SM> IIUC The problem of json.el is that it wants to provide a bridge between
SM> traditional Elisp data structures and JSON, and there is no reliable
SM> two-way conversion between the two.
SM> IIUC the current json.el focuses on making sure that converting to JSON
SM> and back returns the same object.

SM> But I don't see any technical difficulty writing a json2.el alternative
SM> which focuses on "to Elisp and back", i.e. when it reads a JSON object
SM> it returns an Elisp object that preserves all JSON nuances so that it
SM> can be reliably converted back to the "exact same" JSON object.

Sure.  I'm saying a custom data structure would help here, not that it's
the only way to accomplish it, and trying to answer your earlier
question about custom record types.

>> a native XML data structure would also be nice.  We have what libxml
>> produces, dumped in an awkward tree, but nothing native.

SM> Not sure what "native" can mean in this context: we were talking about
SM> new Lisp-defined types.

Native to ELisp, but in a way that represents the original data
structure cleanly and transparently.

SM> Whereas you seem to be talking about getting access to objects defined
SM> in other (non-Lisp) libraries, i.e. an FFI.

SM> Or maybe you're just talking about a more efficient representation for
SM> an XML/JSON tree.  If Lisp-defined data types could offer that, it would be
SM> great, of course, but I personally don't see how that would work.

I'm talking about custom data types that can be efficiently and
transparently converted to what the external libraries and protocols
expect, and provide a good ELisp interface to their contents.  I think
the currently available XML and JSON representation in ELisp don't do
both.  Am I misunderstanding the question?


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