JSON Reference

Introduction


JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a file format to store data in a key/value format.

Requirements


Despite JSON's flexibility, there are a few steadfast rules that JSON objects must follow in order to be considered universally valid JSON schema.

Keys

Every key in a JSON object must be a string. No exceptions.

Values

JSON's flexibility shines with its human-readable values that take many shapes and forms.

Valid value types

  • Object — {}
    • Each object begins with a left brace and ends with a right brace. Each key is followed by a colon and the key/value pairs are separated by a comma.
  • Array — []
    • An ordered collection of values. Each array begins with a left bracket and ends with a right bracket. Values are separated by a comma.
  • String — ""
    • A sequence of zero or more Unicode characters.
  • Number — 0
    • An integer or decimal value.
  • Boolean — true/false
    • Either true or false in all lowercase characters.
  • null — null
    • "null" in all lowercase characters.

For each value, many child-values can be nested within a parent value.

What makes JSON special?

JSON is easy for humans to read and write. Likewise, it is relatively easy for machines to parse and generate. This is because it is a text format that's language agnostic but it uses a syntax that is familiar to programmers using C-based languages. Thus, JSON is an ideal data format to exchange data between program and applications written in C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, Ruby, plus others.

More About JSON


Visit the specificiation for the JSON data format at json.org.

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