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JSON::simd - Raku bindings for simdjson


A Raku interface to simdjson, a library for parsing JSON.

While the simdjson library itself is blazing fast at parsing JSON, transferring all the data it has parsed into Raku data structures isn't actually much faster than parsing with other Raku libraries such as JSON::Fast.

In some situations, especially if you don't need all the data, JSON::simd can offer some advantages.


Drop in replacement for JSON::Fast:

use JSON::simd :subs;

$x = from-json '{ "a" : "b" }';          # Parse a string
$x = from-json-file 'file.json';         # Read from a file

As an added bonus, this also imports to-json from JSON::Fast, which works exactly as usual.

Object oriented use

JSON::simd also supports object usage. This allocates the parser and its memory buffers only once, reusing for each document parsed.

use JSON::simd;

my $json = JSON::simd.new;

my $x = $json.parse: '{ "a" : "b" }';     # Parse a string
my $x = $json.load: 'file.json';          # Read from a file

These methods act identically to the above subs.

Delayed object access

The :delay option performs the entire parse (extremely fast), but doesn't actually pull all the data out of the parser object into Raku. Instead it seamlessly replaces Objects and Arrays with placeholder objects. The placeholder objects act (almost) identically to the traditional ones, and pull in data as it is accessed. This can slow things down if you walk the entire data structure, causing everything to be pulled in, but if you access only portions of the data, it can be dramatically faster.

my $x = $json.parse: '...json stuff...', :delay;
say $x<somekey>[17]<another>;

If you always want objects delayed, you can use the :delay option on the inital object creation:

my json = JSON::simd.new(:delay);         # Set default parse to delay
$x = $json.parse(...);                    # This one will get delayed
$x = $json.parse(..., :!delay);           # This one will not delay

simdjson also supports JSON Pointer access through both the Object and Array placeholder objects.

Instead of calling $x<somekey>[17]<another>, the same result will be returned with $x<somekey/17/another> without actually retrieving the intermediate objects/arrays in full.


One drawback of delayed access is that the actual data remains in the parser, precluding its further use until all data access is complete. If another JSON document is parsed by the same parser followed by access to the previous placeholder objects, things are likely to crash.


The simdjson library also supports multithreaded JSON streaming through a large file containing many smaller JSON documents in either ndjson or JSON lines format. If your JSON documents all contain arrays or objects, they can be concatenated without whitespace. The concatenated file has no size restrictions (including larger than 4GB), though each individual document must be less than 4GB.

These are implemented by returning a Channel. As long as JSON objects are successfully parsed, they are sent through the Channel. If parsing encounters an error, a Failure is sent through the channel which will be thrown as an Exception.

for $json.parse-many('[1,2,3][4,5,6]').list -> $record {
   ...Do something with each $record...

There is also a .load-many method, and subs for from-json-many and from-json-file-many.

There is no delay option for the 'many' parsing. All objects are completely received and separate from the parser object.

Maximum depth of parsing

By default the maximum depth of JSON data structures is 1024. This can be set manually with the :max-depth option on intial object creation, or with the .allocate method.

my $json = JSON::simd.new(max-depth => 16);
$json.allocate(max-depth => 32);

Manual capacity allocation

The simdjson library automatically expands its memory capacity when larger documents are parsed, so that you don't unexpectedly fail. In a short process that reads a bunch of files and then exits, this works pretty flawlessly.

You can query the current capacity like this:

say $json.capacity;

For better control of memory in long running processes, the simdjson library lets you adjust your allocation strategy to prevent your server from growing without bound.

my $json = JSON::simd.new(max-capacity => 1_000_0000);

You can also manually set the allocation (setting max-capacity to 0 prevents it from ever auto-expanding):

my $json = JSON::simd.new(max-capacity => 0, size => 1_000_000);
$json.allocate(size => 2_000_000);  # Manually reset capacity;

More information is available at Server Loops: Long-Running Processes and Memory Capacity.


simdjson has highly tuned implementations for various processor capabilities. When first run, they test the processor and choose the best implementation. If you are curious, you can see which implementation is active:

say JSON::simd.implmentation-name, JSON::simd.implementation-description;


This library is very dependent on 64-bit architectures and should only be installed on a 64-bit OS.

Building the C++ library requires a C++ compiler. The commands below may or may not help you install one.

For Windows and MacOS, pre-built libraries are also available as fallbacks if the build doesn't find a compiler.

If you have trouble installing, please file an issue with as many details about your setup as possible.

apt update
apt install -y g++
zef install JSON::simd

If you get g++ compiling errors, it may be due to an older compiler. You can try this and then the commands above:

echo deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt add --update --no-cache g++
zef install JSON::simd
yum install -y gcc-c++
zef install JSON::simd


The original simdjson code is available under Apache License 2.0.

The additional interface code and Raku bindings are Copyright © 2020 United States Government as represented by the Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. No Copyright is claimed in the United States under Title 17, U.S. Code. All Other Rights Reserved.