Streaming indented output of a JSON array

I wanted to produce the following output from a command-line tool:

    "id": 1,
    "name": "Simon"
    "id": 2,
    "name": "Cleo"
    "id": 3,
    "name": "Azi"

But I wanted to do it from a streaming iterator - without first buffering the entire output in an in-memory Python list and calling json.dumps() on it.

Here's the pattern I came up with:

import itertools, json, textwrap

def stream_indented_json(iterator, indent=2):
    # We have to iterate two-at-a-time so we can know if we
    # should output a trailing comma or if we have reached
    # the last item.
    current_iter, next_iter = itertools.tee(iterator, 2)
    next(next_iter, None)
    first = True
    for item, next_item in itertools.zip_longest(current_iter, next_iter):
        is_last = next_item is None
        data = item
        line = "{first}{serialized}{separator}{last}".format(
            first="[\n" if first else "",
                json.dumps(data, indent=indent, default=repr), " " * indent
            separator="," if not is_last else "",
            last="\n]" if is_last else "",
        yield line
        first = False
    if first:
        # We didn't output anything, so yield the empty list
        yield "[]"

Example usage:

for line in stream_indented_json(item_iterator):

I built this for s3-credentials issue #48.

Created 2022-01-17T15:52:18-08:00, updated 2022-01-17T16:41:20-08:00 · History · Edit