[rfk-dev] androidfindskitten

Harry J Mason hjm03r at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Jun 4 13:23:49 PDT 2009

On Thu, 4 Jun 2009, Lajcik wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 3:02 PM, Harry J Mason <hjm03r at ecs.soton.ac.uk>wrote:
>> On Thu, 4 Jun 2009, Steve Pomeroy wrote:
>>> Just serve a JSON file which contains all the NKI. It should be as
>>> simple as:
>>>   [ 'nki1', 'nki2']
>> I'd argue that plain text would be even better. One NKI per line, standard
>> UTF-8 encoding; this would be trivial to parse in any language, requires no
>> complex escaping rules, and is as small as possible.
> The only problem with this approach is that it leaves absolutely no room for
> future expansion, while few more characters that make up a well defined json
> object would allow adding stuff in the future without breaking any existing
> clients. example
> {list: [{nki: 'nki1'}, {nki:'nki2'}]}
> Gzipped (or even not) size wouldnt be significantly bigger but adding new
> attributes (if needed) would be a snap.

I can't think of any attributes which could be added to an NKI which would
preserve the robotfindskitten-nature of the application. Nevertheless:

Adding new attributes might well break existing clients, if they didn't
perfectly implement the JSON parsing rules.

Simpler parsing makes it easier for people to make new ports or to modify
their port to use the Official Master NKI Database.

It'd be very easy to add this functionality server side. The database
will be maintained by a program if people can add their own, so it could
simply produce multiple output files and host them at different URLs.
Then if a new client comes along that wants, say, 3d models of each NKI,
we can just add a third URL with that data in whatever format is best,
and point clients at the appropriate URL. Other clients only download the
data they need.

Also if we're having an encoding, this Semantic Web geek insists that we use
RDF instead :)

|  Harry Mason  | .------------. |    .___,    |"Whatever you do will be |
| University of | |  hjm200 @  | | ___('v')___ | insignificant. However, |
|  Southampton  | | zepler.net | | `"-\._./-"' | it is vitally important |
|    England    | '------------' | hjm ^ ^     | that you do it." Gandhi |

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