By Christine Dorffi on Sep 04, 2008
Choosing the right data interchange format is an important design decision when building any network-aware software. This is especially true when designing mobile and embedded applications, where attributes such as lightweight and efficient are important characteristics to consider. In mobile applications, developers typically rely on home-grown data-interchange formats or on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The advantage of the former is that it can be tailored to particular situations for the purpose of maximizing performance and/or computational resources. The advantage of the latter, when used over HTTP, is that it is a de facto standard for data interchange. In addition, the text-based/human-readable representation used in XML makes it easier to debug.
Yet these two approaches also have disadvantages, one being proprietary in nature, non-standard, and potentially non-interoperable, while the other one could be considered too heavy and verbose for data representation, again this is especially true for mobile and embedded applications.
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