clamp clamp - 6 months ago 62
JSON Question

Does JSON syntax allow duplicate keys in an object?

Is this valid json?

"a" : "x",
"a" : "y"
} says yes. doesn't say anything about it being forbidden.

But obviously it doesn't make much sense, does it?
Most implementations probably use a hashtable so it is being overriden anyways.


From the standard (p. ii):

It is expected that other standards will refer to this one, strictly adhering to the JSON text format, while imposing restrictions on various encoding details. Such standards may require specific behaviours. JSON itself specifies no behaviour.

Further down in the standard (p. 2), the specification for a JSON object:

An object structure is represented as a pair of curly bracket tokens surrounding zero or more name/value pairs. A name is a string. A single colon token follows each name, separating the name from the value. A single comma token separates a value from a following name.

Diagram for JSON Object

It does not make any mention of duplicate keys being invalid or valid, so according to the specification I would safely assume that means they are allowed.

That most implementations of JSON libraries do not accept duplicate keys does not conflict with the standard, because of the first quote.

Here are two examples related to the C++ standard library. When deserializing some JSON object into a std::map it would make sense to refuse duplicate keys. But when deserializing some JSON object into a std::multimap it would make sense to accept duplicate keys as normal.