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Strange JSON.parse() error in node.js

Strange JSON.parse() error in node.js


I'm retrieving some stringifyed Json via TCP in node.js an want to parse it. So my approach is similiar to this. I shortend and simplified it, so you don't have to know the surrounding logic.

socket.on("data", function(data) {
    console.log(data.toString());               // Shows the original stringifyed version
    console.log(JSON.parse(data.toString()));   // Doesn't work

The complete (beautified) JSON is this. As you can see, there are no errors.

    "result": "success",
    "source": "chat",
    "success": {
        "message": "test",
        "time": 1331770513,
        "player": "silvinci"

But JSON.parse(data.toString()) always throws me this dumb error:

SyntaxError: Unexpected token {
    at Object.parse (native)
    at Socket. (/home/node/api.js:152:35)    // irrelevant from here on
    at Socket.emit (events.js:67:17)
    at TCP.onread (net.js:347:14)

So I thougt: "What could be wrong with the JSON-String. Let's try it directly. Should not work." Surprise, Surprise! It worked. Why does it work when I directly enter the String?

Problem courtesy of: buschtoens


Thanks to @Felix Kling I found my bug. It's very important to filter unescaped characters, especially outside the stringified JSON. I didn't and overlooked an invisible linebreak right after the stringified JSON.

This is the fix:

socket.on("data", function(data) {
    console.log(data.toString());                          // Shows the original stringified version
    console.log(JSON.parse(data.toString().slice(0, -4))); // Trim the sequence "\r\n" off the end of the string

Please note, that this only works for me, as I have a very specialized case. The server is always responding in lines of JSON, that are terminated with an \r\n - not the whitespace characters, but literally backslash r and backslash n.
Your code may (or probably) fail due to other errors. But checking the server's response is a good starting point when you get parsing errors.

As @Zack correctly pointed out, this is a more general fix for removing unintended whitespace:

Solution courtesy of: buschtoens


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This post first appeared on Node.js Recipes, please read the originial post: here

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Strange JSON.parse() error in node.js


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