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Python JSON or C++ JSON Parsing

October 27, 2012
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At Gnip, we parse about half a billion JSON activities from our firehoses of social media every day. Until recently, I believed that the time I would save parsing social activities with C++ command line tool would more than justify additional time it takes to develop in C++. This turns out to be wrong.

Comparing the native JSON parser in Python2.7 and the UltraJSON parser to a C++ implementation linked to jsoncpp indicates that UltraJSON is by far the best choice, achieveing about twice the parsing rate of C++ for Gnip’s normalized JSON Activity Stream format. UltraJSON parsed Twitter activities at near 20MB/second.


Plot of elapsed time to parse increasingly large JSON files.  (Lower numbers are better.)

Additional details, scripts, data and code is available on github.

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