The WIP specification for the dat.json meta format
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The WIP specification for the dat.json meta format.

  "title": "My paper library",
  "author": "Julian Gruber <>",
  "url": "dat://c75ffb161a9965e47323ba9b76aa11f649504b0d2d5d062dcb3438d5aeadc187",
  "links": {
    "license": [{"href": "", "title": "CC BY-NC 2.5"}]


Add a dat.json with any of those keys - all are optional - to the root of a dat archive to help tooling work with your archive more nicely:


A short but descriptive human friendly title.


A one- or two-line description of the archive.


Url of the Dat archive. This will usually be the dat:// then the archive key.


The archive's author - the packager, not necessarily the data's author as well. Can be either an object with any of those keys:

  "name": "Julian Gruber",
  "email": "",
  "web": ""

or a string with at least the name and any of the segments email and web:


like for example:

  • "Julian Gruber"
  • "Julian Gruber <>"
  • "Julian Gruber ("
  • "Julian Gruber <> ("


An object containing a set of Web links from the Dat. It is a mapping of "rel" values to arrays of link objects, as follows:

  "rel-type": [{"href": "https://.../"}]

The .links follows the same schema as Web links and so any attribute which applies to a <link> will apply to these values. The one difference is how the rel value is handled: in this field, the rel is used as the key of the links map. Only one rel value should be used. If a link has additional rel values, it can specify them using the rel field on the link object. For instance, a link with the rel value of "foo bar baz" would look like this:

  "foo": [{"href": "https://.../", "rel": "bar baz"}]

Links can be duplicated, and so it would also be possible to handle this case with 3 different link objects:

  "foo": [{"href": "https://.../"}],
  "bar": [{"href": "https://.../"}],
  "baz": [{"href": "https://.../"}],


  • Dat-Desktop will use .title to display a nice archive name instead of just its key