/ JSON and the argonauts

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nufkin - on 16 Sep 2017
I've a mysterious file with the .json suffix on my computer that I'm intrigued about. I gather it's something to do with coding or programming - about which I know nothing - but I don't know if it's possible to investigate without the appropriate application. TextEdit (I've got a Mac) opens it but just displays gibberish. I assume this is because it can't rad the format, but maybe it can and it just is gibberish.
Anyone who understands these things got any ideas (I have tried Google, but that mostly seems to return threads about coding procedures)?
1poundSOCKS - on 16 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

You can download a JSON editor that might display it in a more readable form (there's a Chrome extension that does this). But JSON is designed to be readable, it's a bit like a more concise version of XML. You should see readable text in a text editor, but the format might be confusing if you're not familiar with JSON.
RichieB on 16 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

It's a way for servers to communicate to software using text. Notepad++ will open it.
James Meredith - on 16 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

A real json file will display fine in a plain text editor. It should look like a series of labelled values with curly brackets around them like

{"NAME":"JOHN",
"SURNAME":"DOE"}

It is often some kind of config file of stored on your computer, but more widely it is used to send data over the web
mbh - on 16 Sep 2017
In reply to RichieB:

>Notepad++ will open it.

Which, annoyingly, you can't get for a Mac, as far as I know.

Atom https://atom.io , however, is a great Mac alternative, and there are other editors you could use.

Shani - on 16 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

It's just a key/value pairing. It is one of the main ways to represent data over a network, along with XML.
dread-i - on 16 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

There are a number of online viewers. Some of them produce pretty output. As others have said, it is just a way to store items and values. It'd be interesting to see whats in it, to find out which app made it.
nufkin - on 17 Sep 2017
In reply to James Meredith:

> It should look like a series of labelled values with curly brackets around them like

> {"NAME":"JOHN",
> "SURNAME":"DOE"}

That's what I was expecting after some Wikipedia reading, but it doesn't look anything like that - seems to be just a string of letters LGgrpsEbmLeisgHYidj/TJvM /inspalcxkyivnSvbnYK/ and so on. Maybe I'll try some of the suggested editors to see if they can make more sense, but since I can't have made it in the first place I can probably live without it if I can't work it out.

Thanks everyone anyway
SenzuBean - on 17 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

> That's what I was expecting after some Wikipedia reading, but it doesn't look anything like that - seems to be just a string of letters LGgrpsEbmLeisgHYidj/TJvM /inspalcxkyivnSvbnYK/ and so on. Maybe I'll try some of the suggested editors to see if they can make more sense, but since I can't have made it in the first place I can probably live without it if I can't work it out.

That's not actually 'gibberish' - open a jpg file with a text editor to see what real 'gibberish' looks like.
The little snippet you've posted (assuming it's copied and pasted) looks base64 encoded - which you can find free online decoders for (e.g. https://codebeautify.org/base64-decode/ ) if you want to figure out what it says. You should still have curly braces and quotation marks inside the file if it is json-compliant.
nufkin - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

Actually I just made up the snippet I posted for illustrative purposes, but I tried the real file in the link you posted - it converted it to (mostly) Chinese characters, with a few numbers and greek letters thrown in. Doesn't really clear things up, but it's intriguing none the less

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