Sunday, November 10, 2013

JSON validation

When working with API's and webservices JSON is becoming more and more the standard used for "packaging" data. When you are looking into how API's are sending back data to you it will become evident that JSON is winning over XML.

JavaScript Object Notation, is an open standard format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects consisting of key:value pairs. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.

Although originally derived from the JavaScript scripting language, JSON is a language-independent data format, and code for parsing and generating JSON data is readily available in a large variety of programming languages.

The JSON format was originally specified by Douglas Crockford, and is described in RFC 4627 and ECMA-404. The official Internet media type for JSON is application/json. The JSON filename extension is .json.

Issue is that when working with JSON it is very easy to have a small mistake somewhere in your JSON file which will break you entire code or makes your code unresponsive during parsing. If you for example use the json_decode function in PHP and your JSON file is having an issue it will simply return NULL as the value of the variable you used in conjunction with the json_decode function. Some debugging can be done using json_last_error() however a good thing to do first is to check if you JSON file is correct formatted.

Thanks to the guys from arc90 lab you can make use of the JSONLint. JSONLint is an online JSON validator which you can also use under the MIT license and which can be downloaded from github.

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