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JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) aka the Fat Free Alternative to XML is a lightweight data exchange format inspired by JavaScript object literals. It is often used with JavaScript, Ajax, and RESTful web services but is completely language independent.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data exchange format and is often used with and RESTful .

JSON is a text format that is completely language independent but uses conventions that are familiar to programmers of the C-family of languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and many others. These properties make JSON an ideal data-interchange language.

JSON is built on two structures:

  • A collection of name/value pairs. In various languages, this is realized as an object, record, struct, dictionary, hash table, keyed list, or associative array.
  • An ordered list of values. In most languages, this is realized as an array, vector, list, or sequence.

These are universal data structures. Virtually all modern programming languages support them in one form or another. It makes sense that a data format that is interchangeable with programming languages is also based on these structures.

Its syntax was inspired by a subset of the JavaScript object literal notation.

    "names": { "first": "John", "last": "Doe" },
    "languages": [ "javascript", "python", "lisp" ]

JSON is not the same thing as JavaScript object literals. Rather, JSON is a common technique to serialize from and deserialize to JavaScript's (and other languages') objects.

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