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Ben Nadel at Scotch On The Rock (SOTR) 2010 (London) with: Martin Jones
Ben Nadel at Scotch On The Rock (SOTR) 2010 (London) with: Martin Jones ( @martinwjones )

Javascript Object Notation (JSON) Kinky-Style

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Published in , , Comments (2)

In an effort to learn AJAX and Javascript Object Notation (JSON), I am converting the CFJSON encoder into something that will fit into my architecture and standards; that's not meant to be snooty, I just have certain coding standards (such as capitalization and white-space utilization) that I like to follow. One of the things that I ended up changing was the conversion of the ColdFusion query to Javascript. The conversion is very interesting. Inherently, CFJSON converts the ColdFusion query into a mirrored Javascript object of arrays. In ColdFusion, if you refer to a query via structure notation, you have to put the column name first, then the row:

qTest[ "id" ][ 5 ]

This seems unnatural to me. I never liked it in ColdFusion and I don't care for it in Javascript. And so, I have converted my ColdFusion queries into Javascript arrays of structures:

qTest[ 5 ].id

This seems a much more natural representation of Javascript data types; however, when I dumped out the results, I can see that not only do they perform differently, they look very different. Take of example the following query:

qTest = QueryNew( "id, name, rating" );

QueryAddRow( qTest );
qTest[ "id" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 3;
qTest[ "name" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = "Sarah";
qTest[ "rating" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 9;

QueryAddRow( qTest );
qTest[ "id" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 4;
qTest[ "name" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = "Julia";
qTest[ "rating" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 8;

QueryAddRow( qTest );
qTest[ "id" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 6;
qTest[ "name" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = "Kat";
qTest[ "rating" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 6;

QueryAddRow( qTest );
qTest[ "id" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 9;
qTest[ "name" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = "Laura";
qTest[ "rating" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 4;

QueryAddRow( qTest );
qTest[ "id" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 11;
qTest[ "name" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = "Heather";
qTest[ "rating" ][ qTest.RecordCount ] = 7;

When converted via CFJSON, you get:

{"recordcount":5,"columnlist":"ID,NAME,RATING","data":{"ID":[3,4,6,9,11],"NAME":["Sarah","Julia","Kat","Laura","Heather"],"RATING":[9,8,6,4,7]}}

When converted through my ColdFusion ToJavascript() method, you get:

{"recordcount":5","columnlist":"ID,NAME,RATING","data":{[{"rating":9,"name":"Sarah","id":3},{"rating":8,"name":"Julia","id":4},{"rating":6,"name":"Kat","id":6},{"rating":4,"name":"Laura","id":9},{"rating":7,"name":"Heather","id":11}]}}

My version, while more natural, must transport much more data since the column names are repeated for every "row" of the query. I don't like all the additional transfer, but I do like the way I handle the query conversion. For the moment, I am going to keep my method. I am at peace since I will most likely not be handling such large amounts of data and the size difference should be insignificant. But I can certainly see that with larger data sets, this will quickly add up and become very large.

Want to use code from this post? Check out the license.

Reader Comments

1 Comments

Ben,

Did you modify the CFJSON file. I tend to not want to modify the core files to any framework I use (if I didn't write it).

Joe

15,781 Comments

@Joe,

With something like this, I tend to write things from the ground up. I am HUGE fan of reinventing the wheel. Plus, I have very specific formatting rules that I like to follow so modifying someone else's file tends to irk me a bit.

Of course, writing from the ground up or any modifications for that matter are much more prone to error :)

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