Using jq in an Observable notebook

I use the jq language quite a lot these days, mainly because I can get ChatGPT to write little JSON transformation programs for me very quickly.

I just figured out how to run jq in an Observable notebook.

The key is the jq-web npm package, which provides an Emscripten-compiled version of jq itself.

You can load that in an Observable notebook with this cell:

jq = require("jq-web")

Now you can use the jq.json(data, jqScript) function to run a conversion against some data.

Here's a simple example from the jq-web documentation:

  a: {
    big: {
      json: [
}, '.a.big.json | ["empty", .[1], "useless", .[3]] | join(" ")')

I tend to want to run recipes against data from an Observable textarea - so I add a cell like this:

viewof input = Inputs.textarea({
  placeholder: "Paste JSON here"

Then I can run a jq recipe like it and assign the result to a variable:

output = jq.json(JSON.parse(input), '');

I can display that output like so:

<textarea style="width: 80%; height: 20em">${JSON.stringify(

Here's an example of a notebook I created using jq-web.

Created 2023-03-25T18:32:22-07:00, updated 2023-04-06T15:51:07-07:00 · History · Edit