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Python script converts XML to JSON or the other way around

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This module is deprecated and will not be updated anymore (May 2019)

  • To convert between text-based data formats (including XML and JSON) use my library
  • To work with XML in Python i recommend the excellent

Deprecated documentation

Python script converts XML to JSON or the other way around


Make this executable

$ chmod +x xml2json

Then invoke it from the command line like this

$ xml2json -t xml2json -o file.json file.xml

Or the other way around

$ xml2json -t json2xml -o file.xml file.json

Without the

writes to stdout
$ xml2json -t json2xml file.json

Additional the options: Strip text (#text and #tail) in the json

$ xml2json -t xml2json -o file.json file.xml --strip_text

Strip namespace in the json

$ xml2json -t xml2json -o file.json file.xml --strip_namespace

In code

from xml2json import json2xml
d = {'r': {'@p': 'p1', '#text': 't1', 'c': 't2'}}
> b't1t2'


Either clone this repo or use

like this:
pip install


xml2json is released under the terms of the MIT license.


This script was originally written by R.White, Rewritten to a command line utility by Hay Kranen with contributions from George Hamilton (gmh04) and Dan Brown (jdanbrown)


How it works

xml2json relies on ElementTree for the XML parsing. This is based on but uses a different XML->JSON mapping. The XML -> JSON mapping is described here

XML                              JSON
<e/>                             "e": null
<e>text</e>                      "e": "text"
<e name="value" />               "e": { "@name": "value" }
<e name="value">text</e>         "e": { "@name": "value", "#text": "text" }
<e> <a>text</a ><b>text</b> </e> "e": { "a": "text", "b": "text" }
<e> <a>text</a> <a>text</a> </e> "e": { "a": ["text", "text"] }
<e> text <a>text</a> </e>        "e": { "#text": "text", "a": "text" }

This is very similar to the mapping used for Yahoo Web Services

This is a mess in that it is so unpredictable -- it requires lots of testing (e.g. to see if values are lists or strings or dictionaries). For use in Python this could be vastly cleaner. Think about whether the internal form can be more self-consistent while maintaining good external characteristics for the JSON.

Look at the Yahoo version closely to see how it works. Maybe can adopt that completely if it makes more sense...

R. White, 2006 November 6

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