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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Convert Atom Documents to JSON

Converting an Atom document to JSON might, at first, appear to be a
fairly straightforward task. Atom is, after all, just a bit of XML
and XML-to-JSON conversion tools are widely available. However, the
Atom format is more than just a set of XML elements and attributes.
A number of subtle details can make proper handling of Atom difficult.
When you convert an Atom document into JSON, you take a great deal of
information-rich content and serialize it into a drastically simplified
form. You can more easily use the simpler form of that content in
environments where parsing and properly processing the XML is
prohibitively difficult. The main challenge to this process is to
ensure that important data and context is not lost in the translation.
This article describes those issues and demonstrates a mechanism
implemented by the Apache Abdera project to convert Atom documents
into JSON and produces a result that is readable, usable, and complete...
With a data format as rich and capable of Atom, serializing to a format
as simple and basic as JSON can be problematic at best. While there
have been several very good attempts at getting it right, until an
effort is made to produce a standardized transformation, application
developers need to be prepared to deal with multiple, potentially
incompatible serializations that vary broadly in quality. The technique
described here is just one of several possible approaches.

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