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Versions: 00                                                            
Network Working Group                                        N. Williams
Internet-Draft                                              Cryptonector
Intended status: Standards Track                          March 14, 2014
Expires: September 15, 2014

            JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Text Sequences


   This document describes the JSON text sequence format and associated
   media type.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on September 15, 2014.

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Table of Contents

   1.    Introduction and Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   1.1.  Conventions used in this document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.    JSON Text Sequence Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   3.    Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.    IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   5.    Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
         Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

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1.  Introduction and Motivation

   The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) [RFC7159] is a very handy
   serialization format.  However, when serializing a large sequence of
   values as an array, or a possibly indeterminate-length or never-
   ending sequence of values, JSON becomes difficult to work with.

   Consider a sequence of one million values, each possibly 1 kilobyte
   when encoded, which would be roughly one gigabyte.  If processing
   such a dataset requires first parsing it entirely, then the result is
   very inefficient and the processing will be limited by virtual
   memory.  "Online" parsers help, but they are neither widely available
   or widely used, nor are they easy to use.

   Ideally such datasets could be parsed and processed one element at a
   time.  Even if each element must be parsed in a not-online manner due
   to local choice of parser, the result will usually be sufficiently
   online: limited by the size of the biggest element in the sequence
   rather than by the size of the sequence.

   This document describes the concept and format of "JSON text
   sequences", which are specifically not JSON texts themselves.

1.1.  Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

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2.  JSON Text Sequence Format

   The ABNF [RFC5234] for the JSON text sequence format is as follows:

     JSON-sequence = *(JSON-text 1*(text-separator))
     text-separator = %x20 / %x09 / %x0A / %x0D / %2C
     JSON-text = <given by RFC7159>

                     Figure 1: JSON text sequence ABNF

   A JSON text sequence is a sequence of JSON texts, each followed by
   JSON whitespace (see the 'ws' rule in the JSON ABNF) separator.


   o  Encoders MUST emit one or more JSON whitespace separator
      characters after each JSON text in a sequence.  Two contiguous
      separators do not denote an empty JSON text between them.

   o  Parsers MUST be able to parser a JSON text sequence consisting of
      JSON texts which do not contain newlines (except, of course,
      escaped within strings), and which are separated by either
      newlines, or carriage return and newline character pairs (U+000D


   o  Parsers SHOULD NOT emit outputs which do not correspond to arrays,
      objects or strings until the separator is read.  For example, an
      input of 'truefalse' is not a valid sequence of two JSON values,
      true and false!  Neither is 'true0' a valid sequence of true and
      zero.  Some parsers might in fact accept such sequences, which
      creates an ambiguity that is resolved by requiring (see above)
      that encoders never omit the separator.


   o  Parsers MAY parse sequences where the separator is missing between
      any two consecutive texts provided that no ambiguity results
      (namely: when the first of the two texts is an array, an object,
      or a string).

   o  Encoders MAY have an option for encoding JSON texts "compactly",
      without using newlines in the encoding.  This maximizes
      interoperability with JSON text sequence parsers that utilize non-
      incremental, non-online JSON text parsers.

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3.  Security Considerations

   All the security considerations of JSON [RFC7159] apply.

   JSON text sequence parsers based on non-incremental, non-online JSON
   text parsers will not be able to efficiently parser JSON texts in
   which newlines appear; attempting to parse such sequences with non-
   incremental, non-online JSON text parsers creates a compute resource
   exhaustion vulnerability.

   Parsers which accidentally parse invalid sequences like 'truefalse'
   (as the same as 'true\nfalse') create a mildly dangerous ambiguity.
   Encoders must never produce such sequences; parsers should not accept

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4.  IANA Considerations

   The MIME media type for JSON text sequences is application/json-seq.

   Type name: application

   Subtype name: json-seq

   Required parameters: n/a

   Optional parameters: n/a

   Encoding considerations: binary

   Security considerations: See <this document, once published>,
   Section 3.

   Interoperability considerations: Described herein.

   Published specification: <this document, once published>.

   Applications that use this media type: JSON text sequences have been
   used in applications written with the jq programming language.

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5.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008.

   [RFC7159]  Bray, T., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data
              Interchange Format", RFC 7159, March 2014.

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Author's Address

   Nicolas Williams
   Cryptonector, LLC

   Email: nico@cryptonector.com

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