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Robert Tamayo

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JSON is Not Free in Java

In PHP and JavaScript, dealing with JSON is "free". It's a given. There are built-in functions that parse Strings into JSON and vice versa.

In Java, however, JSON is not free. It usually requires creating a bunch of objects that represent the data object described by the JSON. It also requires some kind of parsing library, like Jackson. It's a guarantee that there will always be a value for something, or it will be null.

However, sometimes JSON is tricky. The default parsers don't do well with empty objects.

A line like this in JSON gave me a hard time recently, whereas PHP and JavaScript would have been able to handle it just fine:

{
    "ponyNames": {}
}

It turns out Jackson doesn't like parsing empty objects and arrays. I ended up using a custom parser, but that almost felt like it defeated the purpose of using a tool and JSON to begin with.

Anyways, it's not the end of the world, but it is a point for PHP and JavaScript - they have JSON handling handled much better.



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