Anton Rutkevich Anton Rutkevich - 23 days ago 11
Android Question

How to invoke default deserialize with gson

I get a json that has "field" field.

If the "field" has data, then there is an OBJECT that has many (about 20) other fields that are also objects. I can deserialize them without any problems.

But if "field" has no data, it is an empty ARRAY (I know it's crazy, but that's the response from server and I can't change it).
Something like this:

When empty:



Has some data:

"extras": {
"22":{ "name":"some name" },
"59":{ "name":"some other name" },
and so on...

So, when there if no data (empty array), I obviously get the exception

Caused by: java.lang.IllegalStateException:
Expected BEGIN_OBJECT but was BEGIN_ARRAY at line 1 column 4319

I tried to use custom JavaDeserializer:

public class ExtrasAdapter implements JsonDeserializer<Extras> {

public Extras deserialize(JsonElement json, Type typeOf,
JsonDeserializationContext context) throws JsonParseException {
try {
JsonObject jsonObject = json.getAsJsonObject();
// deserialize normally

// the following does not work, as it makes recursive calls
// to the same function
//return context.deserialize(jsonObject,
// new TypeToken<Object>(){}.getType());
} catch (IllegalStateException e) {
return null;


I read the json the following way

Gson gsonDecoder = new GsonBuilder().registerTypeAdapter(Extras.class, new ExtrasAdapter();
// httpResponse contains json with extras filed.
Reader reader = new InputStreamReader(httpResponse.getEntity().getContent());
Extras response = gsonDecoder.fromJson(reader, Extras.class);

I don't want to deserialize all 20 fields manually (I know this is an option), I just want to call context.defaultDeserialize(), or something like that.

Once again: I don't have any problems deserializing normal json, creating custom objects, registering custom TypeAdapters, custom JavaDeserializers. It all works already. I need only some solution for handling a data, that can be both ARRAY and OBJECT.

Thanks for any help.


The Joey's answer works perfect. That right the thing I was looking for.
I'll post my code here.

public class SafeTypeAdapterFactory implements TypeAdapterFactory {

public <T> TypeAdapter<T> create(Gson gson, TypeToken<T> type) {

final TypeAdapter<T> delegate = gson.getDelegateAdapter(this, type);

return new TypeAdapter<T>() {

public void write(JsonWriter out, T value) throws IOException {
try {
delegate.write(out, value);
} catch (IOException e) {
delegate.write(out, null);

public T read(JsonReader in) throws IOException {
try {
} catch (IOException e) {
Log.w("Adapter Factory", "IOException. Value skipped");
return null;
} catch (IllegalStateException e) {
Log.w("Adapter Factory", "IllegalStateException. Value skipped");
return null;
} catch (JsonSyntaxException e) {
Log.w("Adapter Factory", "JsonSyntaxException. Value skipped");
return null;




Try using GSON >= 2.2.1 and look for the TypeAdapterFactory class.

This will give you the ability to inspect the Object before you deserialize it and apply custom code while avoiding recursions.

Here is an example of the getDelegateAdapter you can use.