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JSON Pointer

Introduction

The library supports JSON Pointer (RFC 6901) as alternative means to address structured values. A JSON Pointer is a string that identifies a specific value within a JSON document.

Consider the following JSON document

{
    "array": ["A", "B", "C"],
    "nested": {
        "one": 1,
        "two": 2,
        "three": [true, false]
    }
}

Then every value inside the JSON document can be identified as follows:

JSON Pointer JSON value
`` {"array":["A","B","C"],"nested":{"one":1,"two":2,"three":[true,false]}}
/array ["A","B","C"]
/array/0 A
/array/1 B
/array/2 C
/nested {"one":1,"two":2,"three":[true,false]}
/nested/one 1
/nested/two 2
/nested/three [true,false]
/nested/three/0 true
/nested/three/1 false

Note / does not identify the root (i.e., the whole document), but an object entry with empty key "". See RFC 6901 for more information.

JSON Pointer creation

JSON Pointers can be created from a string:

json::json_pointer p = "/nested/one";

Furthermore, a user-defined string literal can be used to achieve the same result:

auto p = "/nested/one"_json_pointer;

The escaping rules of RFC 6901 are implemented. See the constructor documentation for more information.

Value access

JSON Pointers can be used in the at, operator[], and value functions just like object keys or array indices.

// the JSON value from above
auto j = json::parse(R"({
    "array": ["A", "B", "C"],
    "nested": {
        "one": 1,
        "two": 2,
        "three": [true, false]
    }
})");

// access values
auto val = j["/"_json_pointer];                             // {"array":["A","B","C"],...}
auto val1 = j["/nested/one"_json_pointer];                  // 1
auto val2 = j.at[json::json_pointer("/nested/three/1")];    // false
auto val3 = j.value[json::json_pointer("/nested/four", 0)]; // 0

Flatten / unflatten

The library implements a function flatten to convert any JSON document into a JSON object where each key is a JSON Pointer and each value is a primitive JSON value (i.e., a string, boolean, number, or null).

// the JSON value from above
auto j = json::parse(R"({
    "array": ["A", "B", "C"],
    "nested": {
        "one": 1,
        "two": 2,
        "three": [true, false]
    }
})");

// create flattened value
auto j_flat = j.flatten();

The resulting value j_flat is:

{
  "/array/0": "A",
  "/array/1": "B",
  "/array/2": "C",
  "/nested/one": 1,
  "/nested/two": 2,
  "/nested/three/0": true,
  "/nested/three/1": false
}

The reverse function, unflatten recreates the original value.

auto j_original = j_flat.unflatten();

See also


Last update: September 18, 2022