python in - How to make a class JSON serializable




11 Answers

Do you have an idea about the expected output? For e.g. will this do?

>>> f  = FileItem("/foo/bar")
>>> magic(f)
'{"fname": "/foo/bar"}'

In that case you can merely call json.dumps(f.__dict__).

If you want more customized output then you will have to subclass JSONEncoder and implement your own custom serialization.

For a trivial example, see below.

>>> from json import JSONEncoder
>>> class MyEncoder(JSONEncoder):
        def default(self, o):
            return o.__dict__    

>>> MyEncoder().encode(f)
'{"fname": "/foo/bar"}'

Then you pass this class into the json.dumps() method as cls kwarg:

json.dumps(cls=MyEncoder)

If you also want to decode then you'll have to supply a custom object_hook to the JSONDecoder class. For e.g.

>>> def from_json(json_object):
        if 'fname' in json_object:
            return FileItem(json_object['fname'])
>>> f = JSONDecoder(object_hook = from_json).decode('{"fname": "/foo/bar"}')
>>> f
<__main__.FileItem object at 0x9337fac>
>>> 
into an

How to make a Python class serializable?

A simple class:

class FileItem:
    def __init__(self, fname):
        self.fname = fname

What should I do to be able to get output of:

json.dumps()

Without an error (FileItem instance at ... is not JSON serializable)




For more complex classes you could consider the tool jsonpickle:

jsonpickle is a Python library for serialization and deserialization of complex Python objects to and from JSON.

The standard Python libraries for encoding Python into JSON, such as the stdlib’s json, simplejson, and demjson, can only handle Python primitives that have a direct JSON equivalent (e.g. dicts, lists, strings, ints, etc.). jsonpickle builds on top of these libraries and allows more complex data structures to be serialized to JSON. jsonpickle is highly configurable and extendable–allowing the user to choose the JSON backend and add additional backends.

(jsonpickle on PyPi)




Another option is to wrap JSON dumping in its own class:

import json

class FileItem:
    def __init__(self, fname):
        self.fname = fname

    def __repr__(self):
        return json.dumps(self.__dict__)

Or, even better, subclassing FileItem class from a JsonSerializable class:

import json

class JsonSerializable(object):
    def toJson(self):
        return json.dumps(self.__dict__)

    def __repr__(self):
        return self.toJson()


class FileItem(JsonSerializable):
    def __init__(self, fname):
        self.fname = fname

Testing:

>>> f = FileItem('/foo/bar')
>>> f.toJson()
'{"fname": "/foo/bar"}'
>>> f
'{"fname": "/foo/bar"}'
>>> str(f) # string coercion
'{"fname": "/foo/bar"}'



I came across this problem the other day and implemented a more general version of an Encoder for Python objects that can handle nested objects and inherited fields:

import json
import inspect

class ObjectEncoder(json.JSONEncoder):
    def default(self, obj):
        if hasattr(obj, "to_json"):
            return self.default(obj.to_json())
        elif hasattr(obj, "__dict__"):
            d = dict(
                (key, value)
                for key, value in inspect.getmembers(obj)
                if not key.startswith("__")
                and not inspect.isabstract(value)
                and not inspect.isbuiltin(value)
                and not inspect.isfunction(value)
                and not inspect.isgenerator(value)
                and not inspect.isgeneratorfunction(value)
                and not inspect.ismethod(value)
                and not inspect.ismethoddescriptor(value)
                and not inspect.isroutine(value)
            )
            return self.default(d)
        return obj

Example:

class C(object):
    c = "NO"
    def to_json(self):
        return {"c": "YES"}

class B(object):
    b = "B"
    i = "I"
    def __init__(self, y):
        self.y = y

    def f(self):
        print "f"

class A(B):
    a = "A"
    def __init__(self):
        self.b = [{"ab": B("y")}]
        self.c = C()

print json.dumps(A(), cls=ObjectEncoder, indent=2, sort_keys=True)

Result:

{
  "a": "A", 
  "b": [
    {
      "ab": {
        "b": "B", 
        "i": "I", 
        "y": "y"
      }
    }
  ], 
  "c": {
    "c": "YES"
  }, 
  "i": "I"
}



import simplejson

class User(object):
    def __init__(self, name, mail):
        self.name = name
        self.mail = mail

    def _asdict(self):
        return self.__dict__

print(simplejson.dumps(User('alice', '[email protected]')))

if use standard json, u need to define a default function

import json
def default(o):
    return o._asdict()

print(json.dumps(User('alice', '[email protected]'), default=default))



This class can do the trick, it converts object to standard json .

import json


class Serializer(object):
    @staticmethod
    def serialize(object):
        return json.dumps(object, default=lambda o: o.__dict__.values()[0])

usage:

Serializer.serialize(my_object)

working in python2.7 and python3.




jsonweb seems to be the best solution for me. See http://www.jsonweb.info/en/latest/

from jsonweb.encode import to_object, dumper

@to_object()
class DataModel(object):
  def __init__(self, id, value):
   self.id = id
   self.value = value

>>> data = DataModel(5, "foo")
>>> dumper(data)
'{"__type__": "DataModel", "id": 5, "value": "foo"}'



Here is my 3 cents ...
This demonstrates explicit json serialization for a tree-like python object.
Note: If you actually wanted some code like this you could use the twisted FilePath class.

import json, sys, os

class File:
    def __init__(self, path):
        self.path = path

    def isdir(self):
        return os.path.isdir(self.path)

    def isfile(self):
        return os.path.isfile(self.path)

    def children(self):        
        return [File(os.path.join(self.path, f)) 
                for f in os.listdir(self.path)]

    def getsize(self):        
        return os.path.getsize(self.path)

    def getModificationTime(self):
        return os.path.getmtime(self.path)

def _default(o):
    d = {}
    d['path'] = o.path
    d['isFile'] = o.isfile()
    d['isDir'] = o.isdir()
    d['mtime'] = int(o.getModificationTime())
    d['size'] = o.getsize() if o.isfile() else 0
    if o.isdir(): d['children'] = o.children()
    return d

folder = os.path.abspath('.')
json.dump(File(folder), sys.stdout, default=_default)



I ran into this problem when I tried to store Peewee's model into PostgreSQL JSONField.

After struggling for a while, here's the general solution.

The key to my solution is going through Python's source code and realizing that the code documentation (described here) already explains how to extend the existing json.dumps to support other data types.

Suppose you current have a model that contains some fields that are not serializable to JSON and the model that contains the JSON field originally looks like this:

class SomeClass(Model):
    json_field = JSONField()

Just define a custom JSONEncoder like this:

class CustomJsonEncoder(json.JSONEncoder):
    def default(self, obj):
        if isinstance(obj, SomeTypeUnsupportedByJsonDumps):
            return < whatever value you want >
        return json.JSONEncoder.default(self, obj)

    @staticmethod
    def json_dumper(obj):
        return json.dumps(obj, cls=CustomJsonEncoder)

And then just use it in your JSONField like below:

class SomeClass(Model):
    json_field = JSONField(dumps=CustomJsonEncoder.json_dumper)

The key is the default(self, obj) method above. For every single ... is not JSON serializable complaint you receive from Python, just add code to handle the unserializable-to-JSON type (such as Enum or datetime)

For example, here's how I support a class inheriting from Enum:

class TransactionType(Enum):
   CURRENT = 1
   STACKED = 2

   def default(self, obj):
       if isinstance(obj, TransactionType):
           return obj.value
       return json.JSONEncoder.default(self, obj)

Finally, with the code implemented like above, you can just convert any Peewee models to be a JSON-seriazable object like below:

peewee_model = WhateverPeeweeModel()
new_model = SomeClass()
new_model.json_field = model_to_dict(peewee_model)

Though the code above was (somewhat) specific to Peewee, but I think:

  1. It's applicable to other ORMs (Django, etc) in general
  2. Also, if you understood how json.dumps works, this solution also works with Python (sans ORM) in general too

Any questions, please post in the comments section. Thanks!




I came up with my own solution. Use this method, pass any document (dict,list, ObjectId etc) to serialize.

def getSerializable(doc):
    # check if it's a list
    if isinstance(doc, list):
        for i, val in enumerate(doc):
            doc[i] = getSerializable(doc[i])
        return doc

    # check if it's a dict
    if isinstance(doc, dict):
        for key in doc.keys():
            doc[key] = getSerializable(doc[key])
        return doc

    # Process ObjectId
    if isinstance(doc, ObjectId):
        doc = str(doc)
        return doc

    # Use any other custom serializting stuff here...

    # For the rest of stuff
    return doc



I liked Lost Koder's method the most. I ran into issues when trying to serialize more complex objects whos members/methods aren't serializable. Here's my implementation that works on more objects:

class Serializer(object):
    @staticmethod
    def serialize(obj):
        def check(o):
            for k, v in o.__dict__.items():
                try:
                    _ = json.dumps(v)
                    o.__dict__[k] = v
                except TypeError:
                    o.__dict__[k] = str(v)
            return o
        return json.dumps(check(obj).__dict__, indent=2)



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python json serialization