Computational Optics & Translational Imaging Lab

JSON lab

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JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a highly portable, human-readable and " fat-free" text format to represent complex and hierarchical data. It is as powerful as XML, but less verbose. JSON format is widely used for data-exchange in applications, and is essential for the wild success of (programming) Ajax and Web2.0.

UBJSON (Universal Binary JSON) is a binary JSON format, specifically optimized for compact file size and better performance while keeping the semantics as simple as the text-based JSON format. Using the UBJSON format allows to wrap complex binary data in a flexible and extensible structure, making it possible to process complex and large dataset without accuracy loss due to text conversions.

We envision that both JSON and its binary version will serve as part of the mainstream data-exchange formats for scientific research in the future. It will provide the flexibility and generality achieved by other popular general-purpose file specifications, such as HDF5, with significantly reduced complexity and enhanced performance.

JSONLab is a free and open-source implementation of a JSON/UBJSON encoder and a decoder in the native MATLAB language. It can be used to convert a MATLAB data structure (array, struct, cell, struct array and cell array) into JSON/UBJSON formatted strings, or to decode a JSON/UBJSON file into MATLAB data structure. JSONLab supports both MATLAB and GNU Octave (a free MATLAB clone).