Objective-C bindings for YAJL (Yet Another JSON Library) C library
C Objective-C Shell
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YAJL (Objective-C Wrapper)

YAJL.framework is an Objective-C wrapper around the YAJL SAX-style JSON parser.


Mac OS X

YAJL-0.2.7.zip YAJL.framework (2009/10/16)


libYAJLIPhone-0.2.7.zip Static Library for iPhone OS 3.0 Simulator & Device (2009/10/16)

The static library is a universal arm6/7 binary so while it is double the size of previous builds, it compresses down to nearly the same size as standalone builds.

Install (Mac OS X)

There are two options. You can install it globally in /Library/Frameworks or with a little extra effort embed it with your project.

Installing in /Library/Frameworks

  • Copy YAJL.framework to /Library/Frameworks/
  • In the target Info window, General tab:
    • Add a linked library, under Mac OS X 10.5 SDK section, select YAJL.framework

Installing in your project

  • Copy YAJL.framework to your project directory (maybe in MyProject/Frameworks/.)
  • Add the YAJL.framekwork files (from MyProject/Frameworks/) to your target. It should be visible as a Linked Framework in the target.
  • Under Build Settings, add @loader_path/../Frameworks to Runpath Search Paths
  • Add New Build Phase | New Copy Files Build Phase.
    • Change the Destination to Frameworks.
    • Drag YAJL.framework into the the build phase
    • Make sure the copy phase appears before any Run Script phases

Install (iPhone)

  • Add files (from static library build) to project.
  • Under 'Other Linker Flags' in the Test target, add -ObjC and -all_load (So NSObject+YAJL category is loaded).


To parse JSON from an NSData (or NSString):

#import "NSObject+YAJL.h"

NSData *JSONData = [NSData dataWithContentsOfFile:@"example.json"];
NSArray *arrayFromData = [JSONData yajl_JSON];

NSString *JSONString = @"[\"Test\"]";
NSArray *arrayFromString = [JSONString yajl_JSON];

// With options and out error
NSError *error = nil;
NSArray *arrayFromString = [JSONString yajl_JSONWithOptions:YAJLParserOptionsAllowComments error:&error];

To generate JSON from an object:

#import "NSObject+YAJL.h"

NSDictionary *dict = [NSDictionary dictionaryWithObject:@"value" forKey:@"key"];
NSString *JSONString = [dict yajl_JSONString];

// Beautified with custon indent string
NSArray *array = [NSArray arrayWithObjects:@"value1", @"value2", nil];
NSString *JSONString = [dict yajl_JSONStringWithOptions:YAJLGenOptionsBeautify indentString:@"    "];

To use the streaming (or SAX style) parser, use YAJLParser.

NSData *data = [NSData dataWithContentsOfFile:@"example.json"];

YAJLParser *parser = [[YAJLParser alloc] initWithParserOptions:YAJLParserOptionsAllowComments];
parser.delegate = self;
[parser parse:data];
if (parser.parserError) {
	NSLog(@"Error:\n%@", parser.parserError);

parser.delegate = nil;
[parser release];

// Include delegate methods from YAJLParserDelegate
- (void)parserDidStartDictionary:(YAJLParser *)parser;
- (void)parserDidEndDictionary:(YAJLParser *)parser;

- (void)parserDidStartArray:(YAJLParser *)parser;
- (void)parserDidEndArray:(YAJLParser *)parser;

- (void)parser:(YAJLParser *)parser didMapKey:(NSString *)key;
- (void)parser:(YAJLParser *)parser didAdd:(id)value;

Streaming Example

YAJLParser *parser = [[[YAJLParser alloc] initWithParserOptions:0] autorelease];
parser.delegate = self;

// A chunk of data comes...
YAJLParserStatus status = [parser parse:chunk1];
// 'status' should be YAJLParserStatusInsufficientData, if its not finished
if (parser.parserError) ...;

// Another chunk of data comes...
YAJLParserStatus status = [parser parse:chunk2];
// 'status' should be YAJLParserStatusOK if its finished
if (parser.parserError) ...;

Usage (Document-style)

To use the document style, use YAJLDocument. Usage should be very similar to NSXMLDocument.

NSData *data = [NSData dataWithContentsOfFile:@"example.json"];
NSError *error = nil;
YAJLDocument *document = [[YAJLDocument alloc] initWithData:data parserOptions:0 error:&error];
// Access root element at document.root
NSLog(@"Root: %@", document.root);
[document release];

Or stream to the document:

YAJLDocument *document = [[YAJLDocument alloc] initWithWithParserOptions:YAJLParserOptionsNone];

NSError *error = nil;
[document parse:chunk1 error:error];
[document parse:chunk2 error:error];

// Access root element at document.root
NSLog(@"Root: %@", document.root);
[document release];

Customized Encoding

To implement JSON encodable value for custom objects or override for existing objects, implement - (id)JSON;

For example:

@interface CustomObject : NSObject

@implementation CustomObject

- (id)JSON {
  return [NSArray arrayWithObject:[NSNumber numberWithInteger:1]];



CustomObject *customObject = [[CustomObject alloc] init];
NSString *JSONString = [customObject yajl_JSON];
// JSONString == "[1]";