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Ruben Verborgh

Your JSON is not my JSON – A case for more fine-grained content negotiation

by Ruben Verborgh

Information resources can be expressed in different representations along many dimensions such as format, language, and time. Through content negotiation, HTTP clients and servers can agree on which representation is most appropriate for a given piece of data. For instance, interactive clients typically indicate they prefer HTML, whereas automated clients would ask for JSON or RDF. However, labels such as “JSON” and “RDF” are insufficient to negotiate between the rich variety of possibilities offered by today’s languages and data models. This position paper argues that, despite widespread misuse, content negotiation remains the way forward. However, we need to extend it with more granular options in order to serve different current and future Web clients sustainably.

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Published in 2016 in Proceedings of the Workshop on Smart Descriptions & Smarter Vocabularies.

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