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From JSON to JSEN through Virtual Languages

Antonello Ceravola and Frank Joublin, "From JSON to JSEN through Virtual Languages", Open Journal of Web Technologies (OJWT), vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-15, 2021.


This paper describes JSEN, JavaScript Executable Notation, a data format suitable for storing executable code statements, which represents the counterpart of JSON, JavaScript Object Notation. JSEN and JSON complements each other. The former is a data format that we have created for representing executables/code, while, the latter is focused on representing objects/data. The two formats, JSON and JSEN, share some properties; we will reviewed them in this paper with a more extensive analysis of what the JSEN data format can provide. In particular, JSEN extends homoiconicity of the hosting language (in our case JavaScript), giving the possibility to manipulate programs in a more fine grain, allowing the definition of virtual languages (or DSL) and providing a base for implementing a type of concurrent multitasking, useful in single-threaded languages like JavaScript. We will also show that the JSEN format, however, it is not tight to JavaScript, we tested it on other languages too.

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