Python JSON encoding


I'm trying to encode data to JSON in Python and I been having a quite a bit of trouble. I believe the problem is simply a misunderstanding.

I'm relatively new to Python and never really got familiar with the various Python data types, so that's most likely what's messing me up.

Currently I am declaring a list, looping through and another list, and appending one list within another:

import simplejson, json
data = [['apple', 'cat'], ['banana', 'dog'], ['pear', 'fish']]

x = simplejson.loads(data)
# >>> typeError: expected string or buffer..

x = simplejson.dumps(stream)
# >>> [["apple", "cat"], ["banana", "dog"], ["pear", "fish"]]
# - shouldn't JSON encoded strings be like: {{"apple":{"cat"},{"banana":"dog"}}

So I either:

  • I don't understand JSON Syntax
  • I don't understand the Pythons JSON module(s)
  • I'm using an inappropriate data type.
6/11/2009 9:37:09 PM

Accepted Answer

Python lists translate to JSON arrays. What it is giving you is a perfectly valid JSON string that could be used in a Javascript application. To get what you expected, you would need to use a dict:

>>> json.dumps({'apple': 'cat', 'banana':'dog', 'pear':'fish'})
'{"pear": "fish", "apple": "cat", "banana": "dog"}'
6/11/2009 9:41:16 PM

I think you are simply exchanging dumps and loads.

>>> import json
>>> data = [['apple', 'cat'], ['banana', 'dog'], ['pear', 'fish']]

The first returns as a (JSON encoded) string its data argument:

>>> encoded_str = json.dumps( data )
>>> encoded_str
'[["apple", "cat"], ["banana", "dog"], ["pear", "fish"]]'

The second does the opposite, returning the data corresponding to its (JSON encoded) string argument:

>>> decoded_data = json.loads( encoded_str )
>>> decoded_data
[[u'apple', u'cat'], [u'banana', u'dog'], [u'pear', u'fish']]
>>> decoded_data == data

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