Author picomancer
Recipients picomancer
Date 2013-12-03.08:21:11
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Message-id <1386058873.01.0.290791588539.issue19871@psf.upfronthosting.co.za>
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Try the following in your favorite Python version:

    import json
    json.loads(".5")

On my Python (2.7.4 and 3.3.1 on Ubuntu Saucy Salamander), I get an exception.  However, x = .5 is a valid Python number.

With respect to the parsing of floats by the json module, the docs state:

    By default, this is equivalent to ``float(num_str)``.

This statement does not match the behavior I have observed in every version of Python I have tried, and is still in the bleeding-edge (as of this writing) at http://hg.python.org/cpython/file/9283a9c5d0ce/Doc/library/json.rst

I think it's clear that the following changes should definitely be implemented:

(1) The docs and behavior should match
(2) Whatever the desired behavior is, there is a unit test specifically for this corner case

Of course, to implement (1), there are two routes:

(1a) Leading decimal floats should be accepted by the json module; the behavior should be changed to match the docs.  Supported by Postel's Law -- "be liberal in what [your program] accept[s]"), see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postel%27s_law and the slightly relaxed attitude toward standards compliance detailed in the json module documentation.

(1b) Leading decimal floats should be rejected by the json module; the docs should be changed to match the behavior.  This fits with a strict standards compliance worldview.

I think (1a) is better.  In my particular use case, I was manually writing a json file with several numerical parameters.  The backtrace given by json.load(open("whatever.json", "r")) is uninformative and merely says "No JSON object could be decoded"; finding the token the parser considered to be malformed was fairly easy since there were only six or seven keys.  It could have been much worse if I was making manual changes to a larger JSON file.
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Date User Action Args
2013-12-03 08:21:13picomancersetrecipients: + picomancer
2013-12-03 08:21:13picomancersetmessageid: <1386058873.01.0.290791588539.issue19871@psf.upfronthosting.co.za>
2013-12-03 08:21:12picomancerlinkissue19871 messages
2013-12-03 08:21:11picomancercreate