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1.1.4 • Public • Published

node tryjson

npm install
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JSON.parse / JSON.stringify

// this can crash your program
// you need try/catch:
object = JSON.parse(string);
// this can crash your program
// you need try/catch:
string = JSON.stringify(object);

tryjson.parse / tryjson.stringify

// no need for try/catch:
string = tryjson.stringify(object);
// no need for try/catch:
object = tryjson.parse(string);


Not everyone knows that you should always run JSON.parse inside of a try/catch block or otherwise you risk your application crashing on bad input. Most of the examples of using JSON.parse posted online never does that. People usually assume that you will get undefined on bad or empty input but you don't.

Remember: Always try { JSON.parse() } or use tryjson.parse()

This module works like many people assume that the built-in JSON works and can simplify some common code.

People usually write:

object = JSON.parse(string);

when they mean:

try {
  object = JSON.parse(string);
} catch (e) {
  object = undefined;

and now they can write it as:

object = tryjson.parse(string);

or even as:

object = JSON.parse(string);

if you want to locally override JSON with:

var JSON = require('tryjson');

You can even get a different value than the default undefined for invalid JSON:

object = JSON.parse(string, {error: 'Invalid JSON'});

How it works

This module works like JSON.parse (and in fact it uses JSON.parse) but instead of throwing exceptions it returns undefined on failure (or some other fallback value if provided). This is not always a desired behaviour but sometimes it is.

There is also a stringify method that works like JSON.stringify but instead of throwing exceptions on circular structures it returns "null" (or a JSON representation of some other fallback value if provided) - which, again, may not be what you always want but sometime it is and you can use this module to simplify your code in those cases.



Returns the result of parsing string as JSON or undefined if it cannot be parsed.

parse(string, fallback)

Returns the result of parsing string as JSON or the value of fallback if it cannot be parsed.


Returns the JSON representation of value or the JSON representation of null if value cannot be represented as JSON (e.g. contains circular references).

stringify(value, fallback)

Returns the JSON representation of value or the JSON representation of fallback if value cannot be represented as JSON (or the JSON representation of null if fallback cannot be represented as JSON as well).


Why tryjson.parse returns undefined for invalid JSON by default? Because a valid JSON can never be parsed to undefined so you can test it reliably for that value with value === undefined to know if it was invalid. You can specify a custom fallback value as a second argument.

Why tryjson.stringify returns "null" for objects that cannot be serialized by default? Because "null" is a valid JSON string so it can always be parsed without errors and is still easy to test for null value. Note that this time, getting "null" does not necessarily mean that the object couldn't be serialized because it might have been originally equal to null as well. You can specify a custom fallback value as a second argument - it will be stringified to JSON if possible, or the string "null" will be returned. It always returns a valid JSON string.


Install to use in your Node project, updating the dependencies in package.json:

npm install tryjson --save


Basic usage:


var tryjson = require('tryjson');
// returns object: { a: 1, b: 2 }
// returns value: undefined


var tryjson = require('tryjson');
var x = {a: 1};
// returns string: '{"a":1}'
x.b = x;
// returns string: 'null'

Testing returned values

var object = tryjson.parse(string);
if (object === undefined) {
  // the string was invalid JSON
if (object == null) {
  // the string was either invalid JSON
  // or "null"
if (!object) {
  // the string was either invalid JSON,//
  // "null", "false" or "0"

Custom fallback values:

tryjson.parse('{"a":1,"b":2}', {err: 'bad json'});
// returns object: { a: 1, b: 2 }
tryjson.parse('{"a":1,"b":2', {err: 'bad json'});
// returns object: { err: 'bad json' }
var x = {a: 1};
tryjson.stringify(x, {err: 'bad object'});
// returns string: '{"a":1}'
x.b = x;
tryjson.stringify(x, {err: 'bad object'});
// returns string: '{"err":"bad object"}'
// invalid object and invalid fallback:
tryjson.stringify(x, x);
// returns string: 'null'


For any bug reports or feature requests please post an issue on GitHub.


Rafał Pocztarski - https://github.com/rsp


MIT License (Expat). See LICENSE.md for details.


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