What is the intended format of the dump files? The page makes it sound like
it will have a binary format, which I'm not opposed to, but is definitely
something you should decide on.

Yes, it is a binary format, I will make that clearer on the page.

The advantage of a binary format is that it's smaller, which I think is quite important.

I think the main advantages of text-based formats is that there are lots of tools for the common ones (XML and JSON) and that they are human readable.
But those tools wouldn't be very useful, because we certainly want to have some sort of custom compression scheme and the tools wouldn't be able to work with that.
And I think human readability is mostly useful if we want others to be able to write their own code that directly accesses the data.
And, because of the custom compression, doing that won't be that easy anyway. And hopefully, it won't be necessary, because there will be a nice library usable by everyone (see below).
Also, I really like the idea of writing it in a low level language and then
having bindings for something higher. However, unless you plan of having
multiple language bindings (e.g., *both* C# and Python), you may want to
pick a different route. For example, if you decide to only bind to Python,
you can use something like Cython, which would allow you to write
pseudo-Python that is still compiled to C. Of course, if you want multiple
language bindings, this is likely no longer an option.

Right now, everyone can read the dumps in their favorite language.
If I write the library interface well, writing bindings for it for another language should be relatively trivial, so everyone can keep using their favorite language.

And I admit, I'm proposing doing it this way partially because of selfish reasons: I'd like to use this library in my future C# code.
But I realize creating something that works only in C# doesn't make sense, because most people in this community don't use it.
So, to me writing the code so that it can be used from anywhere makes the most sense

Petr Onderka
On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM, Petr Onderka <gsvick@gmail.com> wrote:

> For my GSoC project Incremental data dumps [1], I'm creating a new file
> format to replace Wikimedia's XML data dumps.
> A sketch of how I imagine the file format to look like is at
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Svick/Incremental_dumps/File_format.
> What do you think? Does it make sense? Would it work for your use case?
> Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
> Petr Onderka
> [[User:Svick]]
> [1]: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Svick/Incremental_dumps
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