Python JSON encoder and decoder

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), specified by RFC 4627, is a lightweight data interchange format based on a subset of JavaScriptsyntax (ECMA-262 3rd edition).

json exposes an API familiar to users of the standard library marshal and pickle modules.

Encoding basic Python object hierarchies:

>>> import json
>>> json.dumps(['foo', {'bar': ('baz', None, 1.0, 2)}])
'["foo", {"bar": ["baz", null, 1.0, 2]}]'
>>> print json.dumps("\"foo\bar")
"\"foo\bar"
>>> print json.dumps(u'\u1234')
"\u1234"
>>> print json.dumps('\\')
"\\"
>>> print json.dumps({"c": 0, "b": 0, "a": 0}, sort_keys=True)
{"a": 0, "b": 0, "c": 0}
>>> from StringIO import StringIO
>>> io = StringIO()
>>> json.dump(['streaming API'], io)
>>> io.getvalue()
'["streaming API"]'

Compact encoding:

>>> import json
>>> json.dumps([1,2,3,{'4': 5, '6': 7}], separators=(',',':'))
'[1,2,3,{"4":5,"6":7}]'

Pretty printing:

>>> import json
>>> print json.dumps({'4': 5, '6': 7}, sort_keys=True,
...                  indent=4, separators=(',', ': '))
{
    "4": 5,
    "6": 7
}

Decoding JSON:

>>> import json
>>> json.loads('["foo", {"bar":["baz", null, 1.0, 2]}]')
[u'foo', {u'bar': [u'baz', None, 1.0, 2]}]
>>> json.loads('"\\"foo\\bar"')
u'"foo\x08ar'
>>> from StringIO import StringIO
>>> io = StringIO('["streaming API"]')
>>> json.load(io)
[u'streaming API']

Specializing JSON object decoding:

>>> import json
>>> def as_complex(dct):
...     if '__complex__' in dct:
...         return complex(dct['real'], dct['imag'])
...     return dct
...
>>> json.loads('{"__complex__": true, "real": 1, "imag": 2}',
...     object_hook=as_complex)
(1+2j)
>>> import decimal
>>> json.loads('1.1', parse_float=decimal.Decimal)
Decimal('1.1')

Extending JSONEncoder:

>>> import json
>>> class ComplexEncoder(json.JSONEncoder):
...     def default(self, obj):
...         if isinstance(obj, complex):
...             return [obj.real, obj.imag]
...         # Let the base class default method raise the TypeError
...         return json.JSONEncoder.default(self, obj)
...
>>> dumps(2 + 1j, cls=ComplexEncoder)
'[2.0, 1.0]'
>>> ComplexEncoder().encode(2 + 1j)
'[2.0, 1.0]'
>>> list(ComplexEncoder().iterencode(2 + 1j))
['[', '2.0', ', ', '1.0', ']']

Using json.tool from the shell to validate and pretty-print:

$ echo '{"json":"obj"}' | python -mjson.tool
{
    "json": "obj"
}
$ echo '{1.2:3.4}' | python -mjson.tool
Expecting property name enclosed in double quotes: line 1 column 2 (char 1)

Note

 

JSON is a subset of YAML

 1.2. The JSON produced by this module’s default settings (in particular, the default separatorsvalue) is also a subset of YAML 1.0 and 1.1. This module can thus also be used as a YAML serializer.

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