JSON will bite us badly

JSON, the javascript object notation format, is everywhere nowadays. But there are 3 facts which will challenge its dominance.

  1. CPU cores are not getting much faster.
  2. You can rent VMs per core, and you pay per core.
  3. The network is still getting faster and cheaper, and HTTP/2 reduces the minimum cost per file.

Due to these changes, servers will become CPU bound again, and basic data structures on the web will become much more relevant. But the most efficient parsing of JSON requires guessing the final data structure while reading the data.

Therefore the changing costs will bring a comeback for binary data structures, and WebAssembly will provide efficient parsers and emitters in the clients.

Look at a typical website and count how much of the dynamic data it uses is structured data. Due to this I expect that 5 years from now, there will be celebrity talks with titles like

Scaling 10x higher with streams of structured data.

(And yes, that tech communication often works like this is a problem.)

If you have deep-rooted doubts, have a look at Towards a JavaScript Binary AST, which convinced me to finally publish this article.

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