How can I "pretty" format my JSON output in Ruby on Rails?

JP Richardson Source

I would like my JSON output in Ruby on Rails to be "pretty" or nicely formatted.

Right now, I call to_json and my JSON is all on one line. At times this can be difficult to see if there is a problem in the JSON output stream.

Is there way to configure or a method to make my JSON "pretty" or nicely formatted in Rails?

ruby-on-railsrubyjsonpretty-print

Answers

answered 9 years ago jpatokal #1

Use the pretty_generate() function, built into later versions of JSON. For example:

require 'json'
my_object = { :array => [1, 2, 3, { :sample => "hash"} ], :foo => "bar" }
puts JSON.pretty_generate(my_object)

Which gets you:

{
  "array": [
    1,
    2,
    3,
    {
      "sample": "hash"
    }
  ],
  "foo": "bar"
}

answered 6 years ago gertas #2

Thanks to Rack Middleware and Rails 3 you can output pretty JSON for every request without changing any controller of your app. I have written such middleware snippet and I get nicely printed JSON in browser and curl output.

class PrettyJsonResponse
  def initialize(app)
    @app = app
  end

  def call(env)
    status, headers, response = @app.call(env)
    if headers["Content-Type"] =~ /^application\/json/
      obj = JSON.parse(response.body)
      pretty_str = JSON.pretty_unparse(obj)
      response = [pretty_str]
      headers["Content-Length"] = pretty_str.bytesize.to_s
    end
    [status, headers, response]
  end
end

The above code should be placed in app/middleware/pretty_json_response.rb of your Rails project. And the final step is to register the middleware in config/environments/development.rb:

config.middleware.use PrettyJsonResponse

I don't recommend to use it in production.rb. The JSON reparsing may degrade response time and throughput of your production app. Eventually extra logic such as 'X-Pretty-Json: true' header may be introduced to trigger formatting for manual curl requests on demand.

(Tested with Rails 3.2.8-5.0.0, Ruby 1.9.3-2.2.0, Linux)

answered 6 years ago Christopher Mullins #3

Here's my solution which I derived from other posts during my own search.

This allows you to send the pp and jj output to a file as needed.

require "pp"
require "json"

class File
  def pp(*objs)
    objs.each {|obj|
      PP.pp(obj, self)
    }
    objs.size <= 1 ? objs.first : objs
  end
  def jj(*objs)
    objs.each {|obj|
      obj = JSON.parse(obj.to_json)
      self.puts JSON.pretty_generate(obj)
    }
    objs.size <= 1 ? objs.first : objs
  end
end

test_object = { :name => { first: "Christopher", last: "Mullins" }, :grades => [ "English" => "B+", "Algebra" => "A+" ] }

test_json_object = JSON.parse(test_object.to_json)

File.open("log/object_dump.txt", "w") do |file|
  file.pp(test_object)
end

File.open("log/json_dump.txt", "w") do |file|
  file.jj(test_json_object)
end

answered 5 years ago Roger Garza #4

The <pre> tag in HTML, used with JSON.pretty_generate, will render the JSON pretty in your view. I was so happy when my illustrious boss showed me this:

<% if [email protected]? %>
   <pre><%= JSON.pretty_generate(@data) %></pre>
<% end %>

answered 5 years ago Tony #5

I have used the gem CodeRay and it works pretty well. The format includes colors and it recognises a lot of different formats.

I have used it on a gem that can be used for debugging rails APIs and it works pretty well.

By the way, the gem is named 'api_explorer' (http://www.github.com/toptierlabs/api_explorer)

answered 5 years ago TheDadman #6

I use the following as I find the headers, status and JSON output useful as a set. The call routine is broken out on recommendation from a railscasts presentation at: http://railscasts.com/episodes/151-rack-middleware?autoplay=true

  class LogJson

  def initialize(app)
    @app = app
  end

  def call(env)
    dup._call(env)
  end

  def _call(env)
    @status, @headers, @response = @app.call(env)
    [@status, @headers, self]
  end

  def each(&block)
    if @headers["Content-Type"] =~ /^application\/json/
      obj = JSON.parse(@response.body)
      pretty_str = JSON.pretty_unparse(obj)
      @headers["Content-Length"] = Rack::Utils.bytesize(pretty_str).to_s
      Rails.logger.info ("HTTP Headers:  #{ @headers } ")
      Rails.logger.info ("HTTP Status:  #{ @status } ")
      Rails.logger.info ("JSON Response:  #{ pretty_str} ")
    end

    @response.each(&block)
  end
  end

answered 5 years ago Thomas Klemm #7

Dumping an ActiveRecord object to JSON (in the Rails console):

pp User.first.as_json

# => {
 "id" => 1,
 "first_name" => "Polar",
 "last_name" => "Bear"
}

answered 5 years ago Ed Lebert #8

If you want to:

  1. Prettify all outgoing JSON responses from your app automatically.
  2. Avoid polluting Object#to_json/#as_json
  3. Avoid parsing/re-rendering JSON using middleware (YUCK!)
  4. Do it the RAILS WAY!

Then ... replace the ActionController::Renderer for JSON! Just add the following code to your ApplicationController:

ActionController::Renderers.add :json do |json, options|
  unless json.kind_of?(String)
    json = json.as_json(options) if json.respond_to?(:as_json)
    json = JSON.pretty_generate(json, options)
  end

  if options[:callback].present?
    self.content_type ||= Mime::JS
    "#{options[:callback]}(#{json})"
  else
    self.content_type ||= Mime::JSON
    json
  end
end

answered 4 years ago Wayne Conrad #9

Here is a middleware solution modified from this excellent answer by @gertas. This solution is not Rails specific--it should work with any Rack application.

The middleware technique used here, using #each, is explained at ASCIIcasts 151: Rack Middleware by Eifion Bedford.

This code goes in app/middleware/pretty_json_response.rb:

class PrettyJsonResponse

  def initialize(app)
    @app = app
  end

  def call(env)
    @status, @headers, @response = @app.call(env)
    [@status, @headers, self]
  end

  def each(&block)
    @response.each do |body|
      if @headers["Content-Type"] =~ /^application\/json/
        body = pretty_print(body)
      end
      block.call(body)
    end
  end

  private

  def pretty_print(json)
    obj = JSON.parse(json)  
    JSON.pretty_unparse(obj)
  end

end

To turn it on, add this to config/environments/test.rb and config/environments/development.rb:

config.middleware.use "PrettyJsonResponse"

As @gertas warns in his version of this solution, avoid using it in production. It's somewhat slow.

Tested with Rails 4.1.6.

answered 4 years ago Phrogz #10

If you (like I) find that the pretty_generate option built into Ruby's JSON library is not "pretty" enough, I recommend my own NeatJSON gem for your formatting.

To use it gem install neatjson and then use JSON.neat_generate instead of JSON.pretty_generate.

Like Ruby's pp it will keep objects and arrays on one line when they fit, but wrap to multiple as needed. For example:

{
  "navigation.createroute.poi":[
    {"text":"Lay in a course to the Hilton","params":{"poi":"Hilton"}},
    {"text":"Take me to the airport","params":{"poi":"airport"}},
    {"text":"Let's go to IHOP","params":{"poi":"IHOP"}},
    {"text":"Show me how to get to The Med","params":{"poi":"The Med"}},
    {"text":"Create a route to Arby's","params":{"poi":"Arby's"}},
    {
      "text":"Go to the Hilton by the Airport",
      "params":{"poi":"Hilton","location":"Airport"}
    },
    {
      "text":"Take me to the Fry's in Fresno",
      "params":{"poi":"Fry's","location":"Fresno"}
    }
  ],
  "navigation.eta":[
    {"text":"When will we get there?"},
    {"text":"When will I arrive?"},
    {"text":"What time will I get to the destination?"},
    {"text":"What time will I reach the destination?"},
    {"text":"What time will it be when I arrive?"}
  ]
}

It also supports a variety of formatting options to further customize your output. For example, how many spaces before/after colons? Before/after commas? Inside the brackets of arrays and objects? Do you want to sort the keys of your object? Do you want the colons to all be lined up?

answered 3 years ago Jim Flood #11

If you are using RABL you can configure it as described here to use JSON.pretty_generate:

class PrettyJson
  def self.dump(object)
    JSON.pretty_generate(object, {:indent => "  "})
  end
end

Rabl.configure do |config|
  ...
  config.json_engine = PrettyJson if Rails.env.development?
  ...
end

A problem with using JSON.pretty_generate is that JSON schema validators will no longer be happy with your datetime strings. You can fix those in your config/initializers/rabl_config.rb with:

ActiveSupport::TimeWithZone.class_eval do
  alias_method :orig_to_s, :to_s
  def to_s(format = :default)
    format == :default ? iso8601 : orig_to_s(format)
  end
end

answered 3 years ago Sergio Belevskij #12


# example of use:
a_hash = {user_info: {type: "query_service", e_mail: "[email protected]", phone: "+79876543322"}, cars_makers: ["bmw", "mitsubishi"], car_models: [bmw: {model: "1er", year_mfc: 2006}, mitsubishi: {model: "pajero", year_mfc: 1997}]}
pretty_html = a_hash.pretty_html

# include this module to your libs:
module MyPrettyPrint
    def pretty_html indent = 0
        result = ""
        if self.class == Hash
            self.each do |key, value|
                result += "#{key}

: #{[Array, Hash].include?(value.class) ? value.pretty_html(indent+1) : value}

" end elsif self.class == Array result = "[#{self.join(', ')}]" end "#{result}" end end class Hash include MyPrettyPrint end class Array include MyPrettyPrint end

answered 3 years ago sealocal #13

If you're looking to quickly implement this in a Rails controller action to send a JSON response:

def index
  my_json = '{ "key": "value" }'
  render json: JSON.pretty_generate( JSON.parse my_json )
end

answered 2 years ago Synthead #14

Check out awesome_print. Parse the JSON string into a Ruby Hash, then display it with awesome_print like so:

require "awesome_print"
require "json"

json = '{"holy": ["nested", "json"], "batman!": {"a": 1, "b": 2}}'

ap(JSON.parse(json))

With the above, you'll see:

{
  "holy" => [
    [0] "nested",
    [1] "json"
  ],
  "batman!" => {
    "a" => 1,
    "b" => 2
  }
}

awesome_print will also add some color that Stack Overflow won't show you :)

answered 2 years ago araratan #15

Using <pre> html code and pretty_generate is good trick:

<%
  require 'json'

  hash = JSON[{hey: "test", num: [{one: 1, two: 2, threes: [{three: 3, tthree: 33}]}]}.to_json] 
%>

<pre>
  <%=  JSON.pretty_generate(hash) %>
</pre>

answered 1 year ago Буянбат Чойжилсүрэн #16

#At Controller
def branch
    @data = Model.all
    render json: JSON.pretty_generate(@data.as_json)
end

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