How to convert from XML to JSON to Python?


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Converting XML to JSON using Python?

I'm doing some work on App Engine and I need to convert an XML document being retrieved from a remote server into an equivalent JSON object.

I'm using xml.dom.minidom to parse the XML data being returned by urlfetch. I'm also trying to use django.utils.simplejson to convert the parsed XML document into JSON. I'm completely at a loss as to how to hook the two together. Below is the code I'm tinkering with:

from xml.dom import minidom
from django.utils import simplejson as json

#pseudo code that returns actual xml data as a string from remote server.
result = urlfetch.fetch(url,'','get');

dom = minidom.parseString(result.content)
json = simplejson.load(dom)


Soviut's advice for lxml objectify is good. With a specially subclassed simplejson, you can turn an lxml objectify result into json.

import simplejson as json
import lxml

class objectJSONEncoder(json.JSONEncoder):
  """A specialized JSON encoder that can handle simple lxml objectify types
      >>> from lxml import objectify
      >>> obj = objectify.fromstring("<Book><price>1.50</price><author>W. Shakespeare</author></Book>")
      >>> objectJSONEncoder().encode(obj)
      '{"price": 1.5, "author": "W. Shakespeare"}'

    def default(self,o):
        if isinstance(o, lxml.objectify.IntElement):
            return int(o)
        if isinstance(o, lxml.objectify.NumberElement) or isinstance(o, lxml.objectify.FloatElement):
            return float(o)
        if isinstance(o, lxml.objectify.ObjectifiedDataElement):
            return str(o)
        if hasattr(o, '__dict__'):
            #For objects with a __dict__, return the encoding of the __dict__
            return o.__dict__
        return json.JSONEncoder.default(self, o)

See the docstring for example of usage, essentially you pass the result of lxml objectify to the encode method of an instance of objectJSONEncoder

Note that Koen's point is very valid here, the solution above only works for simply nested xml and doesn't include the name of root elements. This could be fixed.

I've included this class in a gist here: