BINSON-SCHEMA 

Binson Schema is an an exceptionally light-weight approach to validate the structure of a Binson object using another Binson object, "the schema", as a template. It's like XML Schema for XML, but orders of magnitude less complex. In fact, the complete Java implementation of it is less than 100 lines of code.

The code to validate a Binson object using the Java implementation is:

    b.validate(schema);

where b is the Binson object to be validated and schema is the Binson schema; also a Binson object.

A Binson schema relates to a Binson object like an XML schema relates to an XML document.

Consider a Binson schema. For each field, x, of the Binson objects to be validated, the schema object contains a corresponding field with the expected name and type of the field. In addition, an accompanying, x-info, field is added. The "-info" field describes the field with human-readable documentation ("doc"). A field is mandatory by default, and optional when marked as such. See examples.

The example below shows a Binson schema. It specifies that a Binson object that is valid according to the schema may or may not have a 'zone' field. The field is optional. If 'zone' is present in the object, it must be of type string and must be a name of a time zone.

{ 
  "zone": "CET", 
  "zone-info": { 
    "doc": "time zone name, if not set UTC is used", 
    "optional": true
  }
} 

Examples of four valid Binson objects with respect to the above schema:

{ 
  "zone": "EET"
}

{ 
  "zone": "EET",
  "extraField": "extra field is allowed, object still valid"
}

{
  "zone": ""
}

{
}

Note that the empty object (the last one) is valid since the spec has no mandatory fields.

Example of one invalid Binson object with respect to the schema:

{
  "zone": 123
}

An object is invalid if (and only if) it has a zone field that is not of type 'string'.

Note that if the "optional" field of the schema would be false or would be missing, than the "zone" field would be mandatory and valid Binson objects must include the field. In our examples, the empty Binson object ({}) would then be invalid with respect to the schema.

That is it for an introduction. Hopefully that is enough for a basic understanding. For details, read the Binson.validate() method of the Java implementation. It is the reference implementation of BINSON-SCHEMA.

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