Skip to main content

JSON++

Project description

JXON (JavaScript and XML Object Notation)

JXON is a data interchange format which is mostly a superset of XML and mostly a superset of JSON. It looks like JSON, but with a few key feature adds:

  • XML as a primitive type
  • comments
  • multiline strings
  • enforced schema consistency, and a schema language JXSD
  • variables and imports

This library provides an API to perform a number of JXON-related tasks:

  • parsing JXON into standard Python object types and dumping to strings and files, with an API analogous to the json standard library API
  • checking schema consistency of JXON
  • parsing JXSD (JXON Schema Definition) files and using them to enforce schemas
  • parsing the schema of JXON files, and exporting them as JXSD

The last bullet point includes a major utility of this library that doesn't involve JXON at all - it can be used to extract the schema from JSON files, as long as they use a schema consistently.

XML as a primitive type

In JXON, XML can be written directly in a file as a primitive object type:

{
  "name": "Conor Stuart Roe",
  "age": 23,
  "blurb": <div class="col-6 col-md-12">
    <h1>Hello, World!</h1>
    <br/>
    <p>This is part of valid JXON</p>
  </div>
}

I'm using the Python standard xml library to represent XML elements, but I'd like to eventually add support for lxml and maybe other XML libraries.

Just as any valid JSON value, even a number or a string, is considered to constitute valid JSON in itself, a single XML element (including any children) constitutes valid JXON, so that many XML documents can be parsed as valid JXON! However, XML preambles are cannot be parsed by the JXON engine, which is why JXON is only mostly a superset of XML.

Comments

Pretty straightforward. JXON and JXSD mark single-line comments with //, and multline comments with /*...*/.

Multiline strings

JSON doesn't allow line breaks in the middle of a string, but JXON does. In general, whitespace before a line break is preserved, whitespace after a line break is ignored, and if there is no whitespace before a line break, a single space is inserted.

Enforced schema consistency

Informally, most JSON found in the wild follows a consistent schema, but JXON formalizes that tendency, so the following is valid JSON but invalid JXON:

{
  "some_list": [
    3,
    "Hello",
    true
  ]
}

Arrays are really the only data type in JSON that can break schema consistency (by having element of different types). The type of a JXON object is not simply "Object", but is defined by its set of key->type mappings, so that the following is not valid JXON:

{
  "some_list": [
    {
      "name": "Conor Stuart Roe",
      "age": 23
    },
    {
      "name": "Orville Redenbacher"
    }
  ]
}

while the following is:

{
  "some_list": [
    {
      "name": "Conor Stuart Roe",
      "age": 23
    },
    {
      "name": "Orville Redenbacher",
      "age": 100
    }
  ]
}

null is considered to match any type, so that the following is still valid JXON:

{
  "some_list": [
    {
      "name": "Conor Stuart Roe",
      "age": 23
    },
    {
      "name": null,
      "age": 100
    }
  ]
}

In practice, most JSON follows these rules anyway, and formalizing them allows us to make stronger assumptions about JXON. However, some JSON out there does not follow these rules, which is why JXON is only mostly a superset of JSON.

JXON schemas can be defined using a related format called JXSD (JXON Schema Definition). For instance, the schema of the above object is, in JXSD format,

{
  "some_list": [{
    "name": String,
    "age": Integer
  }]
}

JXSD has five primitive types: String, Integer, Float, Boolean, and XML. Although array and object members determine JXON schema, XML children do not; all XML elements simply have XML type, so that the following is considered to have a consistent JXON schema:

[
  {
    "some_xml": <p>Hi there!</p>
  },
  {
    "some_xml": <div>
      <p>There is a lot of content here.</p>
      <br/>
      <p>More than the last one, anyway.</p>
    </div>
  }
]

JXSD also allows for enumerated types, which must still be a set of all one type:

{
  "host": String,
  "port": Integer
  "path": String,
  "method": Enum("GET", "POST", "PUT", "DELETE"),
  "data": String
}

Currently, Enums must be composed of primitives, but I'd like to implement enumerated array and object types at some point.

Variables, imports, and exports

JXON and JXSD don't have to simply consist of a single expression. They share a set of syntax for importing and exporting based on JavaScript, as well as the ability to set variables.

A valid JXON or JXSD file contains the following sections in order, each of which is optional: imports, variables, default variable, and exports.

Imports

There are several ways to import information from other files, but to understand these one first has to be familiar with the JavaScript concepts of exports and default exports. Every file may export any number of variables, which makes them available for import by other files. Variables exported in this way retain their name in all subsequent imports unless explicitly renamed at import. In addition to these named exports, every file may export one unnamed default variable, which had a different syntax for imports.

JXON/JXSD retains almost all JavaScript syntax for importing:

import test_schema, {School} from "./test.jxsd";
import * as names from "./names.jxon";

In the above, test_schema is the name being given test.jxsd's default export, and School is one of the named exports of test.jxsd. It is possible to import several named exports at once with the syntax import {foo, bar, baz} from example.jxon;, and I'd like to implement the capability to rename named exports with the syntax import {foo as bar} from example.jxon.

* is used to import an entire file as a variable, so that its named exports can then be accessed, e.g.:

import * as test from "./test.jxsd";

test.School

Another way to import a whole file is with inline imports, which don't enable access to named exports, but simply return a file's default export. For instance, import("./test.jxsd") returns the same value as test_schema has in the earlier example. Inline imports are not used in the import section, but are expressions evaluated in the next two sections:

Variables

After imports, JXON and JXSD files have a section in which variables can be set. Variable assignments simply use = and don't require a semicolon. Variables names consist of alphanumeric characters and underscores, and can be used both as named exports and in other expressions:

School = {
  "name": String,
  "type": Enum("Primary", "Secondary", "Postsecondary")
}

MySchema = {
  "name": String,
  "age": Integer,
  "schools": [School],
  "intro": XML
}

In JXON, all variable assignments must evaluate to JXON values, not types. In JXSD, the opposite is true - all expressions must evaluate to a type.

In JXSD, type annotations may also be added with : before the =.

NCSSM: School = import("./ncssm.json")

me: test_schema = {
  "name": names.conor,
  "age": 23,
  "schools": [
    import("./ncssm.json"),
    {
      "name": "Haverford College",
      "type": "Postsecondary"
    }
  ],
  "intro": <div class="col-6 col-md-12">
    <h1>Conor Stuart Roe</h1>
    <br/>
    <p>Hi! my name is <b>Conor</b> and I like to boogie.</p>
    <p>What happens if there are<b>no spaces</b>around a child element?</p>
  </div>
}

These are both for ease of reading, and will be enforced as parse time - JXON parsing will fail if the expression a variable is assigned to does not match its type annotation, so the following will not parse:

NCSSM: School = {
  "name": "NCSSM",
  "something_else": 99.9
}

In JXON/JXSD, variable names are all final, and cannot be reassigned. This includes the name of any imports.

Default variable

This section simply consists of an expression. JSON and XML files parsed as JXON are essentially regarded by the JXON parser as only having this section. This section becomes the default export of the file.

Exports

JXON and JXSD simply have one piece of syntax for changing the set of named exports, and another piece of syntax for setting the default export:

export {foo, bar};
export default baz;

Neither statement is needed, and they don't interact. If no named export statement is included, all variables imported or defined in the file are available for import. If no default export statement is included, then the default export comes from the default export section, or is simply null if there is no default export section.

If there is a default export section, but a different variable is named in a default export statement, then the original default export is inaccessible:

foo = {
  "foo": "bar"
}

// this object is unavailable for import by other files
{
  "spam": "eggs"
}

export default foo;

Using this library

jxon is available on PyPI, so to install it simply run:

pip install jxon

The API for this library is intended to be as analogous to the standard json library as possible, though it includes a few more addons like the jxsd module.

Reading a JXON file or string

import jxon

s = """
{
  "name": "Conor Stuart Roe",
  "some_xml": <p>Hello, World!</p>
}
"""

obj = jxon.loads(s)

with open("example.jxon", "r") as fh:
    obj2 = jxon.load(fh)

Like the json library, this package makes a function loads available for parsing a string as JXON, and a function load for parsing JXON from a file-like object.

If you use imports beginning with "./" in your JXON, make sure to use load! Otherwise, the parser has no way to determine the original directory of your file.

default export

Exporting a JXON object to a file or string

from xml.etree import ElementTree as ET
import jxon

obj = {
    "name": "Conor Stuart Roe",
    "some_xml": ET.Element("p")
}

s = jxon.dumps(obj)

with open("example.jxon", "w") as fh:
    jxon.dump(obj, fh, indent=2, sort_keys=True)

Also like the json library, this package has a function dumps for exporting a JXON object as a string, and dump for exporting into a file-like object.

Both dump and dumps permit two arguments, indent and sort_keys. If you don't specify indent, then no newline characters will be put into your string/file. indent can be set to an integer, which will then be how many spaces it inserts per level of indentation. If sort_keys is not set, keys in JXON objects will be exported in their original order. If it is set to True, all keys in all objects will be in alphabetical order.

no imports/whatev

Checking the equality of JXON objects

If you want to check whether two JXON objects are equal, use jxon_equal

from jxon import jxon_equal

jxon_equal(5, 5)

jxon_equal({"name": "Alice"}, 5)

Using JXSD

jxon.jxsd has functions load, loads, dump, and dumps which all behave similarly to the jxon functions, but they deal with JXONType objects.

from jxon import jxsd

with open("example.jxsd", "r") as fh:
    example_schema = jxsd.load(fh)

type(example_schema)  # JXONType

Checking the equality of JXON objects

JXON object validity is already checked when loading or dumping - syntax errors when loading, objects not castable to JXON when dumping, and inconsistent array element types when doing either, will all raise Python exceptions. However, if you want to check whether some object has a valid JXON schema without loading or dumping, you can use the function jxsd.has_consistent_schema

from jxon import jxsd

jxsd.has_consistent_schema([
    {
        "name": "Alice"
    },
    {
        "name": "Bob"
    }
])

Parsing the type of a JXON object

Say you have a large JSON or JXON file and you just want to know its schema. Look no further than parse_type:

import jxon
from jxon import jxsd

with open("bigdata.json", "r") as fh:
    obj = jxon.load(fh)

big_schema = jxsd.parse_type(obj)

with open("bigdata.jxsd", "w") as fh:
    jxsd.dump(big_schema, fh, indent=2)

Now you can take a peek at bigdata.jxsd to see what your JSON's schema is!

Checking whether a JXON object is an instance of a JXONType

with open("bigdata2.json", "r") as fh:
    obj2 = jxon.load(fh)

big_schema.is_jxon_instance(obj2)

Project details


Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for jxon, version 1.0.2
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size jxon-1.0.2-py3-none-any.whl (14.2 kB) File type Wheel Python version py3 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size jxon-1.0.2.tar.gz (14.6 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page