How to work with JSON format

Json Format Overview. Consider the most popular format in scraping. Why JSON is so convenient.

JSON is a text-based data exchange format based on a multi-paradigm programming language. It is used to store and transmit structured information flow.

Using simple rules of structure formation from symbols to JavaScript, the person can provide an easy and reliable way of data storage, whether it is a simple number, whole lines, or a lot of the various items expressed in a simple text.

Moreover, JSON format is used to combine objects and data structures as a set of components, thus forming program units that allow you to store and process complex records consisting of several variables of different types.

Once the file is created, the lines contained in it are quite easy to redirect to another Network position through any data transfer. This is due to the fact that the line is an ordinary text.

What does JSON mean?

Although it can be used in almost all scripting languages, its name refers to JavaScript. The tool has the following benefits:

  1. It takes up a relatively small volume and is compact.
  2. Text content can be easily created and read by both computers and humans.
  3. It can be easily converted into the structure for almost all kinds of formal languages used to create computer programs.
  4. Most programming languages, whether JavaScript, Ruby, Python, or PHP, have functions and special tools for file reading and editing.

In most cases, the JSON format is used to transfer information from server to browser. This process usually takes place in the "background" mode of the browser exchange with the web server, and the delivery is done with AJAX. This is due to the fact that there is no need to reload the page during data delivery.

This works as follows:

  1. For example, the user clicks on a product card in an online store.
  2. JavaScript, built-in browsers to make web pages more functional, generates a request using AJAX to a PHP script program file that runs on the server. This allows you to transfer the ID of the selected product.
  3. The PHP script program file accepts the product name, description, cost, and other information contained in the database.
  4. After that, a line is formed and passed to the browser.
  5. JavaScript accepts this line, restores the contained information from the encoded form, and then displays information about the selected product on the user's web page.

All this happens in a few milliseconds. However, if JavaScript is disabled on your computer for some reason, the web page will not load or will be displayed with errors.

How does JSON format work?

JSON data types are divided into several categories: simple and complex. The first type includes, first of all, text lines and numbers, and the second category includes objects. There are six main data types:

  1. Numeric. In this case, numbers can be both unsigned integers and integers with a sign. In particular, it may contain a fractional part and representation of actual numbers as a fractional part of the logarithm and order. The file allows the use of integers and floating-point separation in the same way. This method is used in JavaScript for all numerical values with no exceptions, but in other math libraries where it is used, coding can be done with completely different algorithms.
  2. A random sequence (line) of Latin characters, numbers, and punctuation elements (from zero and Unicode characters). Each subsequent line is separated from the previous line by a paired punctuation mark - quotes ("text") or using a symbol, with writing inverse to the usual symbol, a slash.
  3. Literals or constants that are included directly in the text. This can be any value from true and false or their equivalents.
  4. It's an array. It is a structured list of symbols from zero and further. Each character can be represented in any form.
  5. Object. This is a chaotic pairing of keys/values. Assuming that the main function of objects is to represent an abstract data type, it is recommended (but it is optional) that keys were unique.
  6. An empty value denoted by the word "Null".

Spacing between characters is allowed if they are used between syntactic units. There are several characters used: a simple indent, horizontal text tabs, and a slash.

How to open JSON format

The text format for data exchange can be represented in popular encoding standards, which enable to store and send Unicode characters more compactly. In particular, UTF-8 is here by default. UTF-16 and UTF-32 can also be used. Their use arises from the fact that all three standards support the entire symbol sets.

But, if they are shielded (not quoted) to be used as a regular expression, they can be written to represent characters in additional planes using UTF-16.

The easiest way to open JSON format is to use Notepad on PC. To do this you need to create and open a new text document, select "File" in the upper left corner, then "Open".

Then the Explorer window will open, where you should find the necessary file on your PC and then press the "All files" button.

Once you have found the necessary document, you should press the "Open" button.

The document will be opened and will be available for viewing and editing.

Besides, there are third-party programs to open the JSON format. They include Altova XMLSpy, Notepad++, Komodo Edit, Sublime Text, etc.

How to create a file

JSON format is usually used for work (storage and use) of service information. Usually, it is a staff schedule, which should not be seen by either the developer or the audience of the web resource.

There are several ways to create a file with the appropriate extension. First of all, you can do it with a regular text editor, which is part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. To do this, open Notepad, insert the appropriate code, and save the document in the usual and only available extension. After that, you need to change it to the desired option.

The second way implies the use of third-party services. The most popular is the JSON Editor Online. It is easier to use it than the Notepad. The service interface is represented in two working zones.

In the first section, there is the work on data forming, in the second there are the tools for that. After the creation process is finished, you need to click on the "Save" button and choose how to save the result: on disk or online.

As has already been mentioned, using the online service is much more convenient than Notepad. This is due to the fact that the service in the process of work automatically detects syntax errors and selects them so that the user can notice the mistakes and immediately correct them.