Converting XML to JSON using Python?


Question

I've seen a fair share of ungainly XML->JSON code on the web, and having interacted with Stack's users for a bit, I'm convinced that this crowd can help more than the first few pages of Google results can.

So, we're parsing a weather feed, and we need to populate weather widgets on a multitude of web sites. We're looking now into Python-based solutions.

This public weather.com RSS feed is a good example of what we'd be parsing (our actual weather.com feed contains additional information because of a partnership w/them).

In a nutshell, how should we convert XML to JSON using Python?

1
150
6/9/2017 11:47:22 PM

Accepted Answer

There is no "one-to-one" mapping between XML and JSON, so converting one to the other necessarily requires some understanding of what you want to do with the results.

That being said, Python's standard library has several modules for parsing XML (including DOM, SAX, and ElementTree). As of Python 2.6, support for converting Python data structures to and from JSON is included in the json module.

So the infrastructure is there.

56
9/7/2014 9:36:10 PM

xmltodict (full disclosure: I wrote it) can help you convert your XML to a dict+list+string structure, following this "standard". It is Expat-based, so it's very fast and doesn't need to load the whole XML tree in memory.

Once you have that data structure, you can serialize it to JSON:

import xmltodict, json

o = xmltodict.parse('<e> <a>text</a> <a>text</a> </e>')
json.dumps(o) # '{"e": {"a": ["text", "text"]}}'

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