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Project description Documentation Status

Encode and decode JSON files as Git tree objects.

This is an experimental developer preview release.


The latest release is available on PyPI and can be installed using pip:

$ pip install git-json-tree

The development version can be installed directly from the Git repository:

$ pip install -e git+

Integration with Git

Move to a repository where you would like to store JSON files and add following lines to files:


[filter "git-json-tree"]
    smudge = "git-json-tree smudge"
    clean = "git-json-tree clean"
    required  # optional


*.json  filter=git-json-tree

Pointer file format

Git Git-JSON-Tree’s pointer file looks like this:

oid sha1:2f769492d6b634b86b82e916630da8a693e9c20e
size 12345

It tracks the version of Git-JSON-Tree you’re using, followed by a unique identifier for the JSON file (oid). It also stores the size of the target JSON file.


size is calculated from the encoded JSON string and it might differ depending on the version of serializer.

Use the command line

Interaction with the storage can also take place via the command-line interface (CLI).

First, you need to make sure that you are in a Git repository or you know its location. The example shows a case when you are in the directory with a Git repository.

$ echo '{"hello": "world", "version": 1}' | git-json-tree encode

Following the above example you can create a first commit of your JSON object.

$ export FIRST=$(git commit-tree 7123db01 -m First)

It is quite impractical to remember tree or commit sha1, hence we can give it a reference name. The next steps uses the name master, but you can decide to use your own naming convention for tracking versions of your objects. Each file can have its own branch or just a single tag.

$ git update-ref refs/heads/master $FIRST  # for new object

Storing a new version is very simple too.

$ export PARENT=$(git show-ref --hash refs/heads/master)
$ echo '{"hello": "world", "version": 2}' | git-json-tree encode
$ export SECOND=$(git commit-tree 6f36c4272e -m Second -p $PARENT)
$ git update-ref refs/heads/master $SECOND

Finally, you can retrive and decode a tree or commit.

$ git-json-tree decode  # HEAD
$ git-json-tree decode $FIRST  # commit
$ git-json-tree decode 7123db01  # tree id

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