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🔗 Tips on Adding JSON Output to Your CLI App

A couple of years ago I wrote a somewhat controversial article on the topic of Bringing the Unix Philosophy to the 21st Century by adding a JSON output option to CLI tools. This allows easier parsing in scripts by using JSON parsing tools like jq, jello, jp, etc. without arcane awk, sed, cut, tr, reverse, etc. incantations.

It was controversial because there seem to be a lot of folks who don't think writing bespoke parsers for each task is a big deal. Others think JSON is evil. There are strong feelings as can be seen in response to the article in the comments and also on Hacker News and Reddit.

I'll let the next generation of DevOps practitioners and developers come to their own conclusions on the basis of our arguments, but the tide is already turning. Something that was just wishful thinking a couple years ago is now becoming a reality! Now, more and more command line applications are offering JSON output as an option. And with jc, JSON output can even be coaxed out of older command line applications.

continue reading on blog.kellybrazil.com

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