Code for parsing and generating JSON data is readily available in many programming languages. Though JSON was originally advertised and believed to be a strict subset of Java Script and ECMAScript, it inadvertently allows some unescaped characters in strings that are illegal in Java Script and ECMAScript string literals. JSON itself became an ECMA international standard in 2013 as the ECMA-404 standard.In the same year RFC 7158 used ECMA-404 as reference.In December 2017, RFC 7159 was made obsolete by RFC 8259.
A precursor to the JSON libraries was used in a children's digital asset trading game project named Cartoon Orbit at (the State co-founders had all worked at this company previously) for Cartoon Network, which used a browser side plug-in with a proprietary messaging format to manipulate DHTML elements (this system is also owned by 3DO).
It is a very common data format used for asynchronous browser–server communication, including as a replacement for XML in some AJAX-style systems. The acronym originated at State Software, a company co-founded by Crockford and others in March 2001.
The co-founders agreed to build a system that used standard browser capabilities and provided an abstraction layer for Web developers to create stateful Web applications that had a persistent duplex connection to a Web server by holding two HTTP connections open and recycling them before standard browser time-outs if no further data were exchanged.
The co-founders had a round-table discussion and voted whether to call the data format JSML or JSON, as well as under what license type to make it available.
Crockford, being inspired by the words of then President Bush, should also be credited with coming up with the "evil-doers" JSON license ("The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.") in order to open-source the JSON libraries, but force (troll) corporate lawyers, or those who are overly pedantic, to seek to pay for a license from State.