JSON Parsing

Simulant comes with a specialized JSON parser built-in. Simulant's JSON parser is designed to minimize memory usage over performance, and does so by working with the input file stream directly. This allows you to read and navigate large JSON files on memory constrained platforms like the Dreamcast.

To use the JSON functionality you should #include <simulant/utils/json.h>

JSON Functions

The following parsing functions are available, each designed for a different input:

It is recommended that you use json_read whereever possible, and pass in the stream returned by calling vfs->open_file(...) which will allow you to maximise memory efficiency and portability.

Navigating a JSON Document

Once you have a JSONIterator instance returned from one of the parsing functions, you can use it to navigate the file. Assuming the following JSON document:

    "array": [1, 2, 3, 4],
    "object": {
        "one": 1,
        "two": 2.0,
        "three": true,
        "four": false,
        "five": null

You can access the various values using the [] operator which returns another JSONIterator instance.

auto json = json_read(...);

auto array = json["array"];
array->size();  // 4
array->is_array();  // true
array->type();  // JSON_ARRAY

auto value0 = array[0];
value0->is_number();   // true
value0->to_int().value();  // (int64_t) 1
value0->to_float().value();  // (float) 1.0f
value0->to_str();  // "1"

auto obj = json["object"];

obj["five"]->is_null();  // true
auto i = obj["five"]->to_int();
i.has_value();  // false, null is not convertible to int

*Caution! Each JSONIterator instance will retain an reference-count on the underlying stream! Make sure you don't persist JSONIterators longer than necessary.

Iterating Arrays

JSONIterator has additional functionality when the iterator points to an array item. Such iterators will return true if you call the is_array_iterator() method.

Array iterators allow pre-incrementing (e.g. ++it), and when a JSONIterator points to an array node, then begin() and end() produce iterators suitable for a range-for loop. A range-for loop will return JSONNode elements. If you require getting back an iterator for further nested accesses then you can call the to_iterator() method on the node.

for(auto& item: json["array"]) {
    item;  // JSONNode object
    auto it = item.to_iterator();  // Get an iterator to the node
    auto sub_item = it["sub_item"];  // etc.