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JSONlab: a toolbox to encode/decode JSON files in MATLAB/Octave

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a highly portable, human-readable and "fat-free" text format to represent complex and hierarchical data. It is as powerful as XML, but less verbose. JSON format is widely used for data-exchange in applications, and is essential for the wild success of Ajax and Web2.0. With the fast advance of web-based technologies, we envision that JSON will serve as a mainstream data-exchange format for scientific research in the future, and fulfill part of the roles achieved by HDF5.

JSONlab is a free and open-source implementation of a JSON encoder and a decoder in the native MATLAB language. It can be used to convert a MATLAB data structure (array, struct, cell, struct array and cell array) into JSON formatted string, or decode a JSON file into MATLAB data. JSONlab supports both MATLAB and GNU Octave (a free MATLAB clone).

JSONlab was developed by Qianqian Fang at the Optics Division, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Learn Qianqian's other projects


  • JSON is a human-readable and self-explanatory format
  • JSON can represent arbitrarily complex datasets
  • JSON parsers for most languages are available for free
  • JSON data are web-friendly as it can be directly invoked (inline or load from remote site) in JavaScript

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What's New

  • [2012/01/13] JSONlab 0.8.0 (Sentinel) has arrived!. It contains major speed enhancements (20x) to loadjson for processing large data arrays, and several bug fixes. Please see ChangeLogs for more details. Get it from [[jsonlab/Download|here].
  • [2011/10/21] JSONlab 0.5.1 (Nexus update 1) is available, fixing slow speed of loadjson and support JSON collection (a series of "{...}" enclosed JSON objects in a single file). See ChangeLogs.
  • [2011/10/16] First JSONlab release, 0.5 (Nexus), is ready for download.
  • [2011/10/10] First public announcement of the JSONlab project.
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