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Fast JSON parser and validator for Go. No custom structs, no code generation, no reflection
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README.md

Build Status GoDoc Go Report codecov

fastjson - fast JSON parser and validator for Go

Features

  • Fast. As usual, up to 15x faster than the standard encoding/json. See benchmarks.
  • Parses arbitrary JSON without schema, reflection, struct magic and code generation contrary to easyjson.
  • Provides simple API.
  • Outperforms jsonparser and gjson when accessing multiple unrelated fields, since fastjson parses the input JSON only once.
  • Validates the parsed JSON unlike jsonparser and gjson.
  • May quickly extract a part of the original JSON with Value.Get(...).MarshalTo and modify it with Del and Set functions.
  • May parse array containing values with distinct types (aka non-homogenous types). For instance, fastjson easily parses the following JSON array [123, "foo", [456], {"k": "v"}, null].
  • fastjson preserves the original order of object items when calling Object.Visit.

Known limitations

  • Requies extra care to work with - references to certain objects recursively returned by Parser must be released before the next call to Parse. Otherwise the program may work improperly. The same applies to objects returned by Arena. Adhere recommendations from docs.
  • Cannot parse JSON from io.Reader. There is Scanner for parsing stream of JSON values from a string.

Usage

One-liner accessing a single field:

	s := []byte(`{"foo": [123, "bar"]}`)
	fmt.Printf("foo.0=%d\n", fastjson.GetInt(s, "foo", "0"))

	// Output:
	// foo.0=123

Accessing multiple fields with error handling:

        var p fastjson.Parser
        v, err := p.Parse(`{
                "str": "bar",
                "int": 123,
                "float": 1.23,
                "bool": true,
                "arr": [1, "foo", {}]
        }`)
        if err != nil {
                log.Fatal(err)
        }
        fmt.Printf("foo=%s\n", v.GetStringBytes("str"))
        fmt.Printf("int=%d\n", v.GetInt("int"))
        fmt.Printf("float=%f\n", v.GetFloat64("float"))
        fmt.Printf("bool=%v\n", v.GetBool("bool"))
        fmt.Printf("arr.1=%s\n", v.GetStringBytes("arr", "1"))

        // Output:
        // foo=bar
        // int=123
        // float=1.230000
        // bool=true
        // arr.1=foo

See also examples.

Security

  • fastjson shouldn't crash or panic when parsing input strings specially crafted by an attacker. It must return error on invalid input JSON.
  • fastjson requires up to sizeof(Value) * len(inputJSON) bytes of memory for parsing inputJSON string. Limit the maximum size of the inputJSON before parsing it in order to limit the maximum memory usage.

Performance optimization tips

  • Re-use Parser and Scanner for parsing many JSONs. This reduces memory allocations overhead. ParserPool may be useful in this case.
  • Prefer calling Value.Get* on the value returned from Parser instead of calling Get* one-liners when multiple fields must be obtained from JSON, since each Get* one-liner re-parses the input JSON again.
  • Prefer calling once Value.Get for common prefix paths and then calling Value.Get* on the returned value for distinct suffix paths.
  • Prefer iterating over array returned from Value.GetArray with a range loop instead of calling Value.Get* for each array item.

Benchmarks

Go 1.12 has been used for benchmarking.

Legend:

  • small - parse small.json (190 bytes).

  • medium - parse medium.json (2.3KB).

  • large - parse large.json (28KB).

  • canada - parse canada.json (2.2MB).

  • citm - parse citm_catalog.json (1.7MB).

  • twitter - parse twitter.json (617KB).

  • stdjson-map - parse into a map[string]interface{} using encoding/json.

  • stdjson-struct - parse into a struct containing a subset of fields of the parsed JSON, using encoding/json.

  • stdjson-empty-struct - parse into an empty struct using encoding/json. This is the fastest possible solution for encoding/json, may be used for json validation. See also benchmark results for json validation.

  • fastjson - parse using fastjson without fields access.

  • fastjson-get - parse using fastjson with fields access similar to stdjson-struct.

$ GOMAXPROCS=1 go test github.com/valyala/fastjson -bench='Parse$'
goos: linux
goarch: amd64
pkg: github.com/valyala/fastjson
BenchmarkParse/small/stdjson-map         	  200000	      7305 ns/op	  26.01 MB/s	     960 B/op	      51 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/small/stdjson-struct      	  500000	      3431 ns/op	  55.37 MB/s	     224 B/op	       4 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/small/stdjson-empty-struct         	  500000	      2273 ns/op	  83.58 MB/s	     168 B/op	       2 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/small/fastjson                     	 5000000	       347 ns/op	 547.53 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/small/fastjson-get                 	 2000000	       620 ns/op	 306.39 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/medium/stdjson-map                 	   30000	     40672 ns/op	  57.26 MB/s	   10196 B/op	     208 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/medium/stdjson-struct              	   30000	     47792 ns/op	  48.73 MB/s	    9174 B/op	     258 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/medium/stdjson-empty-struct        	  100000	     22096 ns/op	 105.40 MB/s	     280 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/medium/fastjson                    	  500000	      3025 ns/op	 769.90 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/medium/fastjson-get                	  500000	      3211 ns/op	 725.20 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/large/stdjson-map                  	    2000	    614079 ns/op	  45.79 MB/s	  210734 B/op	    2785 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/large/stdjson-struct               	    5000	    298554 ns/op	  94.18 MB/s	   15616 B/op	     353 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/large/stdjson-empty-struct         	    5000	    268577 ns/op	 104.69 MB/s	     280 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/large/fastjson                     	   50000	     35210 ns/op	 798.56 MB/s	       5 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/large/fastjson-get                 	   50000	     35171 ns/op	 799.46 MB/s	       5 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/canada/stdjson-map                 	      20	  68147307 ns/op	  33.03 MB/s	12260502 B/op	  392539 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/canada/stdjson-struct              	      20	  68044518 ns/op	  33.08 MB/s	12260123 B/op	  392534 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/canada/stdjson-empty-struct        	     100	  17709250 ns/op	 127.11 MB/s	     280 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/canada/fastjson                    	     300	   4182404 ns/op	 538.22 MB/s	  254902 B/op	     381 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/canada/fastjson-get                	     300	   4274744 ns/op	 526.60 MB/s	  254902 B/op	     381 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/citm/stdjson-map                   	      50	  27772612 ns/op	  62.19 MB/s	 5214163 B/op	   95402 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/citm/stdjson-struct                	     100	  14936191 ns/op	 115.64 MB/s	    1989 B/op	      75 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/citm/stdjson-empty-struct          	     100	  14946034 ns/op	 115.56 MB/s	     280 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/citm/fastjson                      	    1000	   1879714 ns/op	 918.87 MB/s	   17628 B/op	      30 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/citm/fastjson-get                  	    1000	   1881598 ns/op	 917.94 MB/s	   17628 B/op	      30 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/twitter/stdjson-map                	     100	  11289146 ns/op	  55.94 MB/s	 2187878 B/op	   31266 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/twitter/stdjson-struct             	     300	   5779442 ns/op	 109.27 MB/s	     408 B/op	       6 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/twitter/stdjson-empty-struct       	     300	   5738504 ns/op	 110.05 MB/s	     408 B/op	       6 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/twitter/fastjson                   	    2000	    774042 ns/op	 815.86 MB/s	    2541 B/op	       2 allocs/op
BenchmarkParse/twitter/fastjson-get               	    2000	    777833 ns/op	 811.89 MB/s	    2541 B/op	       2 allocs/op

Benchmark results for json validation:

$ GOMAXPROCS=1 go test github.com/valyala/fastjson -bench='Validate$'
goos: linux
goarch: amd64
pkg: github.com/valyala/fastjson
BenchmarkValidate/small/stdjson 	 2000000	       955 ns/op	 198.83 MB/s	      72 B/op	       2 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/small/fastjson         	 5000000	       384 ns/op	 493.60 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/medium/stdjson         	  200000	     10799 ns/op	 215.66 MB/s	     184 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/medium/fastjson        	  300000	      3809 ns/op	 611.30 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/large/stdjson          	   10000	    133064 ns/op	 211.31 MB/s	     184 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/large/fastjson         	   30000	     45268 ns/op	 621.14 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/canada/stdjson         	     200	   8470904 ns/op	 265.74 MB/s	     184 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/canada/fastjson        	     500	   2973377 ns/op	 757.07 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/citm/stdjson           	     200	   7273172 ns/op	 237.48 MB/s	     184 B/op	       5 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/citm/fastjson          	    1000	   1684430 ns/op	1025.39 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/twitter/stdjson        	     500	   2849439 ns/op	 221.63 MB/s	     312 B/op	       6 allocs/op
BenchmarkValidate/twitter/fastjson       	    2000	   1036796 ns/op	 609.10 MB/s	       0 B/op	       0 allocs/op

FAQ

  • Q: There are a ton of other high-perf packages for JSON parsing in Go. Why creating yet another package? A: Because other packages require either rigid JSON schema via struct magic and code generation or perform poorly when multiple unrelated fields must be obtained from the parsed JSON. Additionally, fastjson provides nicer API.

  • Q: What is the main purpose for fastjson? A: High-perf JSON parsing for RTB and other JSON-RPC services.

  • Q: Why fastjson doesn't provide fast marshaling (serialization)? A: Actually it provides some sort of marshaling - see Value.MarshalTo. But I'd recommend using quicktemplate for high-performance JSON marshaling :)

  • Q: fastjson crashes my program! A: There is high probability of improper use.

    • Make sure you don't hold references to objects recursively returned by Parser / Scanner beyond the next Parser.Parse / Scanner.Next call if such restriction is mentioned in docs.
    • Make sure you don't access fastjson objects from concurrently running goroutines if such restriction is mentioned in docs.
    • Build and run your program with -race flag. Make sure the race detector detects zero races.
    • If your program continue crashing after fixing issues mentioned above, file a bug.
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