build JSON in scala with string interpolation
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Build Status

jsonquote is a little library that lets you build JSON in Scala using string interpolation. It uses macros to parse and validate your json at compile time, and to ensure that the values you are trying to interpolate are of the appropriate types for the places in the json where they are to be interpolated. jsonquote supports play-json, spray-json, and lift-json.

Using jsonquote

jsonquote is built for scala 2.10 and 2.11, and published on bintray. To include it in your project, simply add the desired artifact as a maven dependency for the json library you would like to use:

resolvers += Resolver.jcenterRepo

// use the basic 'literal' json support built in to jsonquote
libraryDependencies += "net.maffoo" %% "jsonquote-core" % "0.4.0"

// use one of the supported third-party json libraries
libraryDependencies += "net.maffoo" %% "jsonquote-lift" % "0.4.0"

// note that for Scala 2.11 version 0.4.0 and above depends on play-json 2.5.X
// older versions, as well as the artifacts published for Scala 2.10, depend on 2.4.X
libraryDependencies += "net.maffoo" %% "jsonquote-play" % "0.4.0"

libraryDependencies += "net.maffoo" %% "jsonquote-spray" % "0.4.0"


Here are some examples of how the interpolation works. First, import everything:

scala> import

scala> import play.api.libs.json._
import play.api.libs.json._

Now, we can interpolate single values:

scala> val hi = "Hello, world!"
hi: String = Hello, world!

scala> json"$hi"
res0: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = "Hello, world!"

scala> json"[$hi, $hi]"
res1: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = ["Hello, world!","Hello, world!"]

scala> json"{greeting: $hi}"
res2: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"greeting":"Hello, world!"}

field names:

scala> val foo = "bar"
foo: String = bar

scala> json"{$foo: 123}"
res3: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"bar":123}

key-value pairs in objects:

scala> val item = "msg" -> "yippee!"
item: (String, String) = (msg,yippee!)

scala> json"{$item}"
res4: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"msg":"yippee!"}

We can also interpolate multiple values or fields from Iterable or Option all at once (the .. syntax here was chosen to mirror that used in quasiquotes for scala macros):

scala> val numbers = List(1,2,3,4,5)
numbers: List[Int] = List(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

scala> json"[..$numbers]"
res5: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = [1,2,3,4,5]

scala> val (a, b) = (Some("a" -> "here"), None)
a: Some[(String, String)] = Some((a,here))
b: None.type = None

scala> json"{..$a, ..$b}"
res6: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"a":"here"}

Note that when interpolating multiple values, you may see type errors if you try to map over collections. This is due to interactions between scala's type inference on collection builders, macro defs, and the StringContext method call into which the compiler transforms the interpolated string. This requires giving the compiler a hint about what concrete collection type you want:

scala> val xs = Seq("a" -> 1, "b" -> 2)
xs: Seq[(String, Int)] = List((a,1), (b,2))

scala> json"[..${}]"
<console>:15: error: required Iterable[_] but got Any

scala> json"[..${}]"
res1: play.api.libs.json.JsArray = ["a","b"]

Alternately, we can define optional fields with a name but optional value that will be dropped from the final result if the value is None:

scala> val (some, none) = (Some("hello!"), None)
some: Some[String] = Some(hello!)
none: None.type = None

scala> json"{msg:? $some, msg2:? $none}"
res7: play.api.libs.json.JsObject = {"msg":"hello!"}

Variables of type JsValue are interpolated as-is:

scala> val list = json"[1,2,3,4]"
list: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = [1,2,3,4]

scala> json"{list: $list}"
res8: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"list":[1,2,3,4]}

Other variables are implicitly converted to JsValue and the compiler will complain if there is no implicit conversion in scope:

scala> case class Foo(a: String, b: Int)
defined class Foo

scala> val foo = Foo("a", 1)
foo: Foo = Foo(a,1)

scala> json"{foo: $foo}"
<console>:17: error: could not find implicit value of type Writes[Foo]
              json"{foo: $foo}"

scala> implicit val fooFormat = Json.writes[Foo]
fooFormat: play.api.libs.json.OWrites[Foo] = play.api.libs.json.OWrites$$anon$2@2f2b6ef9

scala> json"{foo: $foo}"
res9: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"foo":{"a":"a","b":1}}

Even without any interpolation, we get compile-time checking of our json literals, with some syntactic niceties like the ability to omit quotes around field names, and inline comments in your json literals:

scala> val list = json"[1, 2, 3"
error: exception during macro expansion: 
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: requirement failed: expected ',' but got EOF

scala> json"{ a: 1, b: 2 }"
res18: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"a":1,"b":2}

scala> json"{ a: 1 /* this is awesome */, b: 2 /* this is, too */ } // that was great"
res19: play.api.libs.json.JsValue = {"a":1,"b":2}