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UT_JSONDefines.h File Reference
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#define UT_JID_BINARY_MAGIC   0x624a534e
 The magic number to identify binary files (prefixed by UT_JID_MAGIC) More...
#define UT_JID_BINARY_MAGIC_SWAP   0x4e534a62


enum  UT_JID {
  UT_JID_NULL = 0x00, UT_JID_MAP_BEGIN = 0x7b, UT_JID_MAP_END = 0x7d, UT_JID_ARRAY_BEGIN = 0x5b,
  UT_JID_ARRAY_END = 0x5d, UT_JID_BOOL = 0x10, UT_JID_INT8 = 0x11, UT_JID_INT16 = 0x12,
  UT_JID_INT32 = 0x13, UT_JID_INT64 = 0x14, UT_JID_UINT8 = 0x21, UT_JID_UINT16 = 0x22,
  UT_JID_REAL16 = 0x18, UT_JID_REAL32 = 0x19, UT_JID_REAL64 = 0x1a, UT_JID_STRING = 0x27,
  UT_JID_FALSE = 0x30, UT_JID_TRUE = 0x31, UT_JID_TOKENDEF = 0x2b, UT_JID_TOKENREF = 0x26,
  UT_JID_MAGIC = 0x7f
 The UT_JID enums are used in byte-stream encoding of binary JSON. More...

Macro Definition Documentation

#define UT_JID_BINARY_MAGIC   0x624a534e

The magic number to identify binary files (prefixed by UT_JID_MAGIC)

Definition at line 193 of file UT_JSONDefines.h.

#define UT_JID_BINARY_MAGIC_SWAP   0x4e534a62

A swapped version of the magic number. When reading, if the swapped magic number is read, then the binary file was created on a machine with different endianness and data should be byte-swapped where appropriate.

Definition at line 197 of file UT_JSONDefines.h.

Enumeration Type Documentation

enum UT_JID

The UT_JID enums are used in byte-stream encoding of binary JSON.

The JSON token stream is encoded using the binary tokens defined below. Each token is stored as a single byte in the stream with possible additional data following in the stream.

Note: Our binary encoding of JSON is different than BISON: http://kaijaeger.com/articles/introducing-bison-binary-interchange-standard.html

  • This version has optimizations for storing arrays of uniform type data
  • This version does not support 24, 40, 48 or 56 bit integers
  • This version adds support for 16 bit floating point values
  • This version adds support for unsigned integerers (bytes)
  • This version adds supports for optimized encoding of arrays which contain uniform values (including packed boolean arrays).
  • This version allows arbitrary endianness (determined by magic number)
  • Strings are not null byte encoded. Instead the length of the string is stored prior to the data. This allows strings which contain a null byte to be encoded properly.
  • Arrays are not limited to 64K entries
  • Maps (objects) are not limited to 64K entries

Parsing of the binary stream does not require seeking forward or backward through the stream.

Each binary token expects 0 or more bytes of data to follow. The data for multi-byte types is stored in the native format for the machine. The endianness of the file is determined by the magic number.
Several entities store an encoded integer value. Encoded integers are only used to store unsigned integers for length or id in these entities. Encoded integers are not used for storing integer data. Encoding is performed by by using the first byte to determine the size of the integer:
  • byte[0] < 0xf1:
    This value represents the length (0-240)
  • byte[0] == 0xf2:
    The next 2 bytes store an unsigned 16-bit length
  • byte[0] == 0xf4:
    The next 4 bytes store an unsigned 32-bit length
  • byte[0] == 0xf8:
    The next 8 bytes store an unsigned 64-bit length
The values: 0xf1, 0xf3, 0xf5, x0f7, 0xf9-0xff are reserved for future use.

Strings are encoded in two ways

  • UT_JID_STRING is followed by an encoded length and the raw string data. The terminating null character is not stored. For example, the bytestream:
    [ 0x0c 0x48 0x65 0x6c 0x6c 0x20 0x77 0x77 0x6f 0x72 0x6c 0x64 0x21 ]
    Would encode the string "Hello world!"
  • UT_JID_TOKENDEF provides a mechanism to store common strings in a compact fashion. This token is followed by an encoded integer representing an id, then the encoded length and string data (just as UT_JID_STRING). UT_JID_TOKENREF can then be used to reference the defined string.
    Token definitions do not return a string entity to the read stream, but simply define a string. Token definitions can appear anywhere in the stream.

The binary format also provides for compact storage of arrays composed of a uniform type of data. These arrays are encoded by specifying the UT_JID_UNIFORM_ARRAY which is followed by a byte indicating the data storage of the array, followed by an encoded length and the raw data for the array.

Uniform arrays may only store: UT_JID_BOOL, UT_JID_INT8, UT_JID_INT16, UT_JID_INT32, UT_JID_INT64, UT_JID_REAL16, UT_JID_REAL32, UT_JID_REAL64, UT_JID_STRING, UT_JID_TOKENREF. All other storage types are considered an error.

Uniform arrays of booleans are encoded in words of 32-bits using the simple packing method:

value = (word & (1 << index)) != 0;

Uniform arrays of strings are represented using UT_JID_STRING process for each string (i.e. the length of the string, followed by the string data).
Uniform arrays of tokens are represented using N encoded id's.

See Also

No data follows the NULL token.


Marks the beginning of a map object. String/Value pairs will follow until the UT_JID_MAP_END token is reached.


Marks the end of a map object.


Marks the beginning of an array object. Values will follow until the UT_JID_ARRAY_END token is reached.


Marks the end of an array object.


The following byte should be 0 or 1. However, the use of this token to store booleans is less efficient than using UT_JID_FALSE/UT_JID_TRUE.
This is primarily for completeness (and encoding of fixed boolean arrays).


The following byte represents an 8 bit integer.


The following 2 bytes represent an 16 bit integer.


The following 4 bytes represent an 32 bit integer.


The following 8 bytes represent an 64 bit integer.


The following byte represents an unsigned 8 bit integer.


The following 2 bytes represents an unsigned 16 bit integer.


0x23 and 0x24 are reserved for future use (32/64 bit unsigned)

The following 2 bytes represent an 16 bit real (float)


The following 4 bytes represent an 32 bit real (float)


The following 8 bytes represent an 64 bit real (float)


The data following is a binary encoded string. The byte is followed by an encoded length followed by the bytes representing the string (the terminating NULL should not be included).


A compact way of encoding [ UT_JID_BOOL 0x00 ].


A compact way of encoding [ UT_JID_BOOL 0x01 ].


Though gzip compression on a stream can reduce redundancy, storage of command strings can be simplified by using "token-strings". On the first use of a binary string, a token-define can be used. This assigns an integer value to the string. The string can then be referenced by the token-reference identifier.

A token definition is followed by: [id] [length] [string-data]

If a string already exists with this id, its definition will be replaced with the new definition.


A token reference is followed by: [id] The id refers to a string defined by the "tokendef"


The token undefine is followed by: [id] Where the id represents the token string to undefine.


This allows for an compact method of storing an array of uniform values. The following byte should be one of the elementary types (bool, int8-int64, real16-real32, or string). This is followed by the number of elements of the array (encoded as a length). The raw data follows.


Used in parsing only.


Used in parsing only.


This should be the first byte of a binary file. It should be followed by the 4 bytes representing the ID_MAGIC_NUMBER. If, when reading the file, the magic number is swapped (i.e. ID_MAGIC_NUMBER_SWAP), then the file was written on a machine with different endianness and all data should be byte-swapped on loading.

Definition at line 99 of file UT_JSONDefines.h.