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what is json

What is JSON? – JSON Tutorial

This tutorial is a part of the JSON tutorial series. You can view the full list of tutorials by clicking here.

You’ve probably heard of JSON, but what is JSON? JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It’s not a programming language. It’s not a markup language. It’s a lightweight text-data interchange format. So, what does that mean? To put it simply, it’s a file with data formatted to be readable by other programming languages.

JSON by itself doesn’t really do anything. It isn’t meant to do anything. Think of it like excel. You could create a plain text file with data, but with excel it allows you organize and format that data. That’s what JSON does. You can format and organize any data you want and then that data can be grabbed using various sources.

JSON was primarily used with JavaScript, but over the years other languages have been able to use JSON data. It’s very similar to JavaScript because it uses JavaScript’s object notation .Hence the name.

If you’ve heard and used XML, then you’ll have an easy time learning JSON. Learning JSON over XML has many benefits. Actually, it’s recommended to learn JSON because of the benefits such as

  • There are no reserved words in JSON
  • It’s shorter to write
  • Human Readable and Defined
  • Extremely lightweight, making it run faster than XML

This JSON tutorial series will be short and easy cause JSON is fast and simple to learn. I’ll teach you everything you need to know. You’ll learn how to create, read and modify JSON data.

Before Getting Started

You should know JavaScript since JSON is based off it’s object notation. We’ll be using JavaScript to output the JSON data. We’ll also learn how to read JSON using AJAX. If you don’t know any JavaScript, then I highly recommend you see my JavaScript basics tutorial series. Completely free and easy to follow. You can check that out by going here.

JavaScript Basics Tutorial Series

You can use any browser and any text editor you want. I’ll be using Google Chrome and Komodo Edit. Komodo Edit is a free text editor that can be donwloaded here.


Lastly, since we’ll be using AJAX, you should have a server set up somewhere. It can be local or hosted somewhere around the world.

If you don’t have a server, then I recommend you download USBWebserver. It’s free and requires no installation. You just download it, run the EXE and then place all your files in the root folder. You can download USBWebserver here.


Once USBWebserver is up and running, then you can access your files by going to this link


Once you’re all set up, then I hope to see you in the next tutorial! If you would like to view the official site for JSON, then go visit this link.


About Jasko Koyn

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