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language-independent data interchange format. It was derived from the
ECMAScript Programming Language Standard and was published in RFC 4627,
an Informational document. JSON has come into very broad use, often
instead of or in addition to XML.
RFC 4627 cites a 1999 version of the ECMAScript Language Specification.
However, since the publication of RFC 4627, the ECMA specifications have
turned the relationship around, and themselves cite RFC 4627 as the
documentation for JSON. A number of Standards Track IETF specifications
have also cited RFC 4627, and more are in development (for example, the
work in the JOSE working group).
It makes sense to move RFC 4627 onto the Standards Track. There are
also a number of other JSON-related proposals for Standards Track that
would benefit from review from both the IETF and the larger JSON-using
communities created by a working group focused on JSON.
The JSON working group will have as its only initial task the minor
revision of RFC 4627 to bring it onto the Standards Track. As noted
above, RFC 4627 is a mature and widely cited specification. The initial
goal of this work is essentially a reclassification in place, with
minimal changes. The working group will review errata and update the
document as needed to incorporate those, and will correct significant
errors and inconsistencies, but will keep changes at this stage to a
It is acknowledged that there are differences between RFC 4627 and the
ECMAScript specification in the rules for parsing JSON. Any changes that
break compatibility with existing implementations of either RFC 4627 or
the ECMAScript specification will need to have very strong justification
and broad support. All differences between RFC 4627 or the current
ECMAScript specification will be documented in the new RFC. This
documentation will include both the WG consensus for the rationale of
the changes and the expected impact of the changes.
The resulting document will be jointly published as an RFC and by ECMA.
ECMA participants will be participating in the working group editing
through the normal process of working group participation. The responsible
AD will coordinate the approval process with ECMA so that the versions
of the document that are approved by each body are the same.
There are also various proposals for JSON extensions and related
standards. The working group will consider those proposals only after
the initial work is done, and must recharter with specific work items
for any additional work it might select.