Heal Your Church WebSite


Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

XML v. JSON and the Pizza Delivery Model

Software services – such as on demand sermons – is like pizza delivery, it’s all about WHAT the customer receives and less about HOW the product was made and conveyed. I think that’s a point lost on many of the vendors and speakers here at the XML 2007 Conference.

Image of yummy pizzaLet me put a finer point on this: dialing a number taken from a refrigerator magnet, you call Giuseppe-Joe’s Palatial Pizza Emporium and Bistro and order a 16 inch, thin crust pizza with onions, ground beef and tomato. Antonia thanks you for your order, and informs you it’ll be $13.50 and with delivery guaranteed within 30 minutes.

When Marcello arrives on your doorstep, the first thing he does is slowly open the box so you can see the pizza while he reads off the side your order and then the price. Your response as the consumer is to check to see if the pizza is:

  • delivered on-time;
  • what you ordered;
  • still hot;
  • stuck to the top of the box; and
  • tastes like the top of the box.

What you don’t concern yourself with – as a consumer – is:

  • whether or not it was cooked in a Middleby Marshall or Bakers Pride pizza oven;
  • the staff is managed via a autocratic style of management rather than permissive; or
  • the pizza was delivered in a Toyota pickup truck rather than a Ford Escort.

How you deliver information to seekers and members from your church website needs to be considerate to this line of thinking.

Unfortunately, I find this train of thought somewhat lost among many vendors and speakers here at the XML 2007 Conference, especially from those who’ve aligned themselves with the XML purist camp – and not so much from the emerging JSON camp.

An encampment whose flag was firmly planted at yesterday’s plenary session, and waved in the form of pot-shots by a number of individuals here; many of the same who also speak disparagingly of relational databases and Internet Explorer.

My point is this: don’t get so caught up in the theology of how the goods are delivered, at least not so much that one sacrifices what the consumable is – and what the consumer expects when they receive it.

For example, while JavaScript object notation isn’t really XML, but who cares if it is the right tool to provide interoperable church calendar data for consumers who otherwise struggle with SOAP, RDF, OWL, and/or semantic topic maps.

After all, many of providers of verse-of-the-day services have been delivering Javascript objects for sometime now – <sarcasm class=”getitdonecamp“> even if it isn’t as good as Yahoo! Pipes, Google Gadgets and/or WordPress Widgets</sarcasm>.

I know this post was like Greek for some – for that I apologize – and would just ask that you just remember my pizza delivery analogy as the model for delivering content from your church and/or charity website.

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