Prettifying JSON for Curl Development

In the same vein as my post from a few weeks ago on developing an API with Curl and Netrc, here's a handy trick for sending pre-prettified JSON output back to clients, but only those that are identifying as Curl. The reasoning being that prettified JSON isn't useful most of the time, but it's a nice touch while using developing or testing against an API with Curl.

Bundle MultiJson in your Gemfile:

gem "multi_json"

Now define a helper for identifying Curl clients, and use it wherever encoding JSON:

# sample Sinatra app

helpers do
  def curl?
    !!(request.user_agent =~ /curl/)
  end
end

get "/articles" do
  articles = Article.all
  [200, MultiJson.encode(articles, pretty: curl?)]
end

Posted on September 3, 2012 from San Francisco

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My name is Brandur. I'm a polyglot software engineer and part-time designer working at Heroku in San Francisco, California. I'm a Canadian expat. My name is Icelandic. Drop me a line at brandur@mutelight.org.

Aside from technology, I'm interested in energy and how it relates to our society, travel, longboarding, muay thai, symphonic metal, and the guitar.

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