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Convert JSON to a UNIX-friendly line-based format.
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README.rst

jsonpipe

Everyone I know prefers to work with JSON over XML, but sadly there is a sore lack of utilities of the quality or depth of html-xml-utils and XMLStarlet for actually processing JSON data in an automated fashion, short of writing an ad hoc processor in your favourite programming language.

jsonpipe is a step towards a solution: it traverses a JSON object and produces a simple, line-based textual format which can be processed by all your UNIX favourites like grep, sed, awk, cut and diff. It may also be valuable within programming languages---in fact, it was originally conceived as a way of writing simple test assertions against JSON output without coupling the tests too closely to the specific structure used.

This implementation (which should be considered the reference) is written in Python.

Example

A <pre> is worth a thousand words. For simple JSON values:

$ echo '"Hello, World!"' | jsonpipe
/   "Hello, World!"
$ echo 123 | jsonpipe
/   123
$ echo 0.25 | jsonpipe
/   0.25
$ echo null | jsonpipe
/   null
$ echo true | jsonpipe
/   true
$ echo false | jsonpipe
/   false

The 'root' of the object tree is represented by a single / character, and for simple values it doesn't get any more complex than the above. Note that a single tab character separates the path on the left from the literal value on the right.

Composite data structures use a hierarchical syntax, where individual keys/indices are children of the path to the containing object:

$ echo '{"a": 1, "b": 2}' | jsonpipe
/   {}
/a  1
/b  2
$ echo '["foo", "bar", "baz"]' | jsonpipe
/   []
/0  "foo"
/1  "bar"
/2  "baz"

For an object or array, the right-hand column indicates the datatype, and will be either {} (object) or [] (array). For objects, the order of the keys is preserved in the output.

The path syntax allows arbitrarily complex data structures:

$ echo '[{"a": [{"b": {"c": ["foo"]}}]}]' | jsonpipe
/   []
/0  {}
/0/a        []
/0/a/0      {}
/0/a/0/b    {}
/0/a/0/b/c  []
/0/a/0/b/c/0        "foo"

Caveat: Path Separators

Because the path components are separated by / characters, an object key like "abc/def" would result in ambiguous output. jsonpipe will throw an error if this occurs in your input, so that you can recognize and handle the issue. To mitigate the problem, you can choose a different path separator:

$ echo '{"abc/def": 123}' | jsonpipe -s '☃'
☃   {}
☃abc/def    123

The Unicode snowman is chosen here because it's unlikely to occur as part of the key in most JSON objects, but any character or string (e.g. :, ::, ~) will do.

Installation

jsonpipe is written in Python, so is best installed using pip:

pip install jsonpipe

Note that it probably requires Python v2.5+ for now, although work on compatibility with previous versions of Python is in progress.

(Un)license

This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled binary, for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any means.

In jurisdictions that recognize copyright laws, the author or authors of this software dedicate any and all copyright interest in the software to the public domain. We make this dedication for the benefit of the public at large and to the detriment of our heirs and successors. We intend this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this software under copyright law.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

For more information, please refer to <http://unlicense.org/>

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