What’s JSON? (JavaScript Object Notation)

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format that is easy for humans to read and write and easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language, Standard ECMA-262 3rd Edition – December 1999. 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 was first proposed by Douglas Crockford in 2002, but it didn’t gain widespread popularity until around 2005, when it began to be used as an alternative to XML in AJAX-style web applications.

JSON’s main benefits compared to XML include:

  • It is less verbose and less cluttered, making it easier to read and write.
  • It is easier for computers to parse and generate, making it more efficient for data transfer.
  • It is a native JavaScript object, making it easier to integrate with JavaScript code.

Some examples of commonly used JSON applications include:

  • Sending and receiving data between a web server and a web application
  • Storing and exchanging data between mobile apps and servers
  • Configuration files in software projects
  • RESTful APIs and data transfer between microservices

JSON is widely used in many modern application stacks, and it is supported by almost all modern web browsers, servers and database systems.


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