How do I check if a string is valid JSON in Python?


Question

In Python, is there a way to check if a string is valid JSON before trying to parse it?

For example working with things like the Facebook Graph API, sometimes it returns JSON, sometimes it could return an image file.

1
152
12/5/2014 2:32:34 PM

Accepted Answer

You can try to do json.loads(), which will throw a ValueError if the string you pass can't be decoded as JSON.

In general, the "Pythonic" philosophy for this kind of situation is called EAFP, for Easier to Ask for Forgiveness than Permission.

196
8/18/2017 5:01:14 PM

Example Python script returns a boolean if a string is valid json:

import json

def is_json(myjson):
  try:
    json_object = json.loads(myjson)
  except ValueError as e:
    return False
  return True

Which prints:

print is_json("{}")                          #prints True
print is_json("{asdf}")                      #prints False
print is_json('{ "age":100}')                #prints True
print is_json("{'age':100 }")                #prints False
print is_json("{\"age\":100 }")              #prints True
print is_json('{"age":100 }')                #prints True
print is_json('{"foo":[5,6.8],"foo":"bar"}') #prints True

Convert a JSON string to a Python dictionary:

import json
mydict = json.loads('{"foo":"bar"}')
print(mydict['foo'])    #prints bar

mylist = json.loads("[5,6,7]")
print(mylist)
[5, 6, 7]

Convert a python object to JSON string:

foo = {}
foo['gummy'] = 'bear'
print(json.dumps(foo))           #prints {"gummy": "bear"}

If you want access to low-level parsing, don't roll your own, use an existing library: http://www.json.org/

Great tutorial on python JSON module: https://pymotw.com/2/json/

Is String JSON and show syntax errors and error messages:

sudo cpan JSON::XS
echo '{"foo":[5,6.8],"foo":"bar" bar}' > myjson.json
json_xs -t none < myjson.json

Prints:

, or } expected while parsing object/hash, at character offset 28 (before "bar}
at /usr/local/bin/json_xs line 183, <STDIN> line 1.

json_xs is capable of syntax checking, parsing, prittifying, encoding, decoding and more:

https://metacpan.org/pod/json_xs


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