Latest Library Updates

I just released some updates to my two most popular Fortran libraries on GitHub: JSON-Fortran and bspline-fortran. Coincidently, both are now at v5.2.0. Details of the updates are:


There are several new features in this release. The biggest update is that now the code can parse JSON files that include comments (it just ignores them). You can even specify the character that identifies a comment. For example, if using # as a comment character, the following file can now be parsed just fine:

  "t": 0.12345,  # this is the time
  "x": 123.7173  # this is the state

Technically, comments are not part of the JSON standard. Douglas Crockford, the creator of JSON, had his reasons [1] for not including them, which I admit I don’t understand (something about parsing directives and interoperability?) I mainly use JSON for configuration files, where it is nice to have comments. Crockford’s suggestion for this use case is to pipe your commented JSON files through something called JSMin before parsing, a solution which seems somewhat ridiculous for Fortran users. So, never fear, now we can have comments in our JSON files and continue not using JavaScript for anything.

Another big change is the addition of support for the RFC 6901 “JSON Pointer” path specification [2]. This can be used to retrieve data from a JSON structure using its path. Formerly, JSON-Fortran used a simple path specification syntax, which broke down if the keys contained special characters such as ( or ). The new way works for all keys.


A minor update to Bspline-Fortran is the addition of an extrapolation mode. Formerly, if an interpolation was requested outside the bounds of the data, an error was returned. Now, the user has the option of enabling extrapolation.

See also

  1. D. Crockford, “Comments in JSON“, Apr 30, 2012 [Google Plus]
  2. JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Pointer, RFC 6901, April 2013 [IETF]
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One comment on “Latest Library Updates
  1. Marshall says:

    Supporting comments in JSON might actually convince to start using them!

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