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A lightweight, flexible JSON server and client

Project description

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Apocrypha is a lightweight, flexible JSON server and client written in Python 3. It includes a client library for easy interaction through Python, and it’s simple query format allows APIs to easily written in other languages.

You can install Apocrypha with pip: pip3 install apocrypha

Then you’re ready to start the server: python3 -m apocrypha.server

If you’re comfortable with Haskell, there is a Haskell Implementation.


  • multithreaded Thread safe server and client. All queries are atomic.

  • caching Writes clear the cache, any query will be served out of the cache if possible.

  • nosql No schemas, no overhead, just your data in the format you provided.

  • json Serve any existing JSON file to the network or start from scratch. Supports unlimited nested dictionaries.

  • fast Serve up to 20,000 queries per second on cache hit heavy workloads. Database is kept in memory, no disk reads are made after startup.

  • persistance Writes are queued and saved to disk once per second.

  • lightweight Less than 2,000 lines of Python and no external dependencies outside of the standard library.

Example Python API usage, check pydoc3 apocrypha.client for full usage and more examples.

from apocrypha.client import Client
db = Client()

# apocrypha supports lists, strings, and dictionaries
for i in range(0, 100):
  db.append('numbers', value=i)


# nested dictionaries are allowed!
customers = {
  'alice': {
    'age': 30
  'bob' : {
    'age': 20

db.set('customers', value=customers)

# query for sub keys with a simple syntax
print(db.get('customers', 'alice', 'age'))

for customer in db.keys('customers'):
  print(db.get('customers', customer, 'age'))

A simple C client is available here if you want faster start up times than Python for client applications, like shell scripts.

The network protocol is simple: send the length of the message in bytes, then the message. Query elements are delimited by newlines. Each message ends in a newline, and newlines are included in the length calculation of the message.


index further into the database through a key, then recursively display all keys and values under the key. this is the usual way to traverse the database and gather information

(dict a, str b, b in a) => a b -> IO

$ d apples granny = good
$ d apples
{'granny': 'good'}
$ d apples granny


append a list or string to an existing string or list. create the left side if it doesn’t already exist

(none a | str a | list a, str b | list b) => a + b -> none | error

$ d toppings = mushrooms
$ d toppings + pineapple
$ d toppings


remove one or more elements from a list. if the resulting list now only contains one element, it’s converted to a singleton

(list a, str b | list b, b in a) => a - b -> none | error

$ d sweets = cake pie pizza
$ d sweets - pizza
$ d sweets


assign the value of an element. if multiple arguments are given on the right side of the assignment, the result is list assignment

(any a, str b | list b) => a = b -> none

$ d apple = sauce pie
$ d apple


show the keys immediately under this value. doesn’t recursively print all keys and values underneathe

dict a => a --keys -> IO | error

$ d stone sand = weak
$ d stone lime = tough
$ d stone --keys


replace the value of an index with raw JSON

(any a, str b, JSON b) => a --set b -> none | error

$ d pasta --set '["spaghetti", "lasgna"]'
$ d pasta


dump the raw JSON value of a key.

any a => a --edit -> IO

$ d pasta = spaghetti sauce
$ d pasta --edit
'["spaghetti", "sauce"]'


delete any element from it’s parent dictionary

any a => a --del -> none

$ d apple sauce = good
$ d apple pie = great
$ d apple sauce --del
$ d apple
{'pie': 'great'}

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