A stream based implementation of JSON.parse and JSON.stringify for big POJOs
Last updated 4 months ago by donutespresso .
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A stream based implementation of JSON.parse and JSON.stringify for big POJOs

There exist many stream based implementations of JSON parsing or stringifying for large data sets. These implementations typical target time series data, new line delimited data or other array-like data, e.g., logging records or other continuous flowing data.

This module hopes to fill a gap in the ecosystem: parsing large JSON objects that are just really big objects. With large in-memory objects, it is possible to run up against the V8 string length limitation, which is currently (as of 9/2017) limited to 512MB. Thus, if your large object has enough keys or values, it is possible to exceed the string length limit when calling JSON.stringify.

Similarly, when retrieving stored JSON from disk or over the network, if the JSON stringified representation of the object exceeds the string length limit, the process will throw when attempting to convert the Buffer into a string.

The only way to work with such large objects is to use a streaming implementation of both JSON.parse and JSON.stringify. This module does just that by normalizing the APIs for different modules that have previously published, combining both parse and stringify functions into a single module. These underlying modules are subject to change at anytime.

The major caveat is that the reconstructed POJO must be able to fit in memory. If the reconstructed POJO cannot be stored in memory, then it may be time to reconsider the way these large objects are being transported and processed.

This module currently uses JSONStream for parsing, and json-stream-stringify for stringification.

Getting Started

Install the module with: npm install big-json


To parse a big JSON coming from an external source:

const fs = require('fs');
const path = require('path');
const json = require('big-json');

const readStream = fs.createReadStream('big.json');
const parseStream = json.createParseStream();

parseStream.on('data', function(pojo) {
    // => receive reconstructed POJO


To stringify JSON:

const json = require('big-json');

const stringifyStream = json.createStringifyStream({
    body: BIG_POJO

stringifyStream.on('data', function(strChunk) {
    // => BIG_POJO will be sent out in JSON chunks as the object is traversed



Returns: {Stream} a JSON.parse stream


  • opts {Object} an options object
  • opts.body {Object | Array} an object or array to JSON.stringify

Returns: {Stream} a JSON.stringify stream

parse(opts, callback)

An async JSON.parse using the same underlying stream implementation, but with a callback interface.

  • opts {Object} an options object
  • opts.body {String} the string to be parsed
  • callback {Function} a callback object

Returns: {Object} the parsed object

stringify(opts, callback)

An async JSON.stringify using the same underlying stream implementation, but with a callback interface.

  • opts {Object} an options object
  • opts.body {Object} the object to be stringified
  • callback {Function} a callback object

Returns: {Object} the stringified object


Ensure that all linting and codestyle tasks are passing. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality.

To start contributing, install the git prepush hooks:

make githooks

Before committing, lint and test your code using the included Makefile:

make prepush


Copyright (c) 2018 Alex Liu

Licensed under the MIT license.

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