++ed by:

6 PAUSE users
2 non-PAUSE users.

Tatsuhiko Miyagawa


Catalyst::View::JSON - JSON view for your data


  # lib/MyApp/View/JSON.pm
  package MyApp::View::JSON;
  use base qw( Catalyst::View::JSON );

  # configure in lib/MyApp.pm
      'View::JSON' => {
          allow_callback  => 1,    # defaults to 0
          callback_param  => 'cb', # defaults to 'callback'
          expose_stash    => [ qw(foo bar) ], # defaults to everything

  sub hello : Local {
      my($self, $c) = @_;
      $c->stash->{message} = 'Hello World!';


Catalyst::View::JSON is a Catalyst View handler that returns stash data in JSON format.



Flag to allow callbacks by adding callback=function. Defaults to 0 (doesn't allow callbacks). See "CALLBACKS" for details.


Name of URI parameter to specify JSON callback function name. Defaults to callback. Only effective when allow_callback is turned on.


Scalar, List or regular expression object, to specify which stash keys are exposed as a JSON response. Defaults to everything. Examples configuration:

  # use 'json_data' value as a data to return
  expose_stash => 'json_data',

  # only exposes keys 'foo' and 'bar'
  expose_stash => [ qw( foo bar ) ],

  # only exposes keys that matches with /^json_/
  expose_stash => qr/^json_/,

Suppose you have data structure of the following.

  $c->stash->{foo} = [ 1, 2 ];
  $c->stash->{bar} = [ 3, 4 ];

By default, this view will return:


When you set expose_stash => [ 'foo' ], it'll return


and in the case of expose_stash => 'foo', it'll just return


instead of the whole object (hashref in perl). This option will be useful when you share the method with different views (e.g. TT) and don't want to expose non-irrelevant stash variables as in JSON.

  json_driver: JSON::Syck

By default this plugin uses JSON to encode the object, but you can switch to the other drivers like JSON::Syck, whichever JSON::Any supports.

  no_x_json_header: 1

By default this plugin sets X-JSON header if the requested client is a Prototype.js with X-JSON support. By setting 1, you can opt-out this behavior so that you can do eval() by your own. Defaults to 0.


By default it uses JSON::Any to serialize perl data strucuture into JSON data format. If you want to avoid this and encode with your own encoder (like passing options to JSON::XS etc.), you can implement encode_json method in your View class.

  package MyApp::View::JSON;
  use base qw( Catalyst::View::JSON );

  use JSON::XS;

  sub encode_json {
      my($self, $c, $data) = @_;
      my $encoder = JSON::XS->new->ascii->pretty->allow_nonref;



Due to the browser gotchas like those of Safari and Opera, sometimes you have to specify a valid charset value in the response's Content-Type header, e.g. text/javascript; charset=utf-8.

Catalyst::View::JSON comes with the configuration variable encoding which defaults to utf-8. You can change it via YourApp->config or even runtime, using component.


This assumes you set your stash data in raw euc-jp bytes, or Unicode flagged variable. In case of Unicode flagged variable, Catalyst::View::JSON automatically encodes the data into your encoding value (euc-jp in this case) before emitting the data to the browser.

Another option would be to use JavaScript-UCS as an encoding (and pass Unicode flagged string to the stash). That way all non-ASCII characters in the output JSON will be automatically encoded to JavaScript Unicode encoding like \uXXXX. You have to install Encode::JavaScript::UCS to use the encoding.


By default it returns raw JSON data so your JavaScript app can deal with using XMLHttpRequest calls. Adding callbacks (JSONP) to the API gives more flexibility to the end users of the API: overcome the cross-domain restrictions of XMLHttpRequest. It can be done by appending script node with dynamic DOM manipulation, and associate callback handler to the returned data.

For example, suppose you have the following code.

  sub end : Private {
      my($self, $c) = @_;
      if ($c->req->param('output') eq 'json') {
      } else {

/foo/bar?output=json will just return the data set in $c->stash as JSON format, like:

  { result: "foo", message: "Hello" }

but /foo/bar?output=json&callback=handle_result will give you:

  handle_result({ result: "foo", message: "Hello" });

and you can write a custom handle_result function to handle the returned data asynchronously.

The valid characters you can use in the callback function are


but you can customize the behaviour by overriding the validate_callback_param method in your View::JSON class.

See http://developer.yahoo.net/common/json.html and http://ajaxian.com/archives/jsonp-json-with-padding for more about JSONP.


JSON use is still developing and has not been standardized. This section provides some notes on various libraries.

Dojo Toolkit: Setting dojo.io.bind's mimetype to 'text/json' in the JavaScript request will instruct dojo.io.bind to expect JSON data in the response body and auto-eval it. Dojo ignores the server response Content-Type. This works transparently with Catalyst::View::JSON.

Prototype.js: prototype.js will auto-eval JSON data that is returned in the custom X-JSON header. The reason given for this is to allow a separate HTML fragment in the response body, however this of limited use because IE 6 has a max header length that will cause the JSON evaluation to silently fail when reached. The recommened approach is to use Catalyst::View::JSON which will JSON format all the response data and return it in the response body.

In at least prototype 1.5.0 rc0 and above, prototype.js will send the X-Prototype-Version header. If this is encountered, a JavaScript eval will be returned in the X-JSON resonse header to automatically eval the response body, unless you set no_x_json_header to 1. If your version of prototype does not send this header, you can manually eval the response body using the following JavaScript:

  evalJSON: function(request) {
    try {
      return eval('(' + request.responseText + ')');
    } catch (e) {}
  // elsewhere
  var json = this.evalJSON(request);


Catalyst::View::JSON makes the data available as a (sort of) JavaScript to the client, so you might want to be careful about the security of your data.

Use callbacks only for public data

When you enable callbacks (JSONP) by setting allow_callbacks, all your JSON data will be available cross-site. This means embedding private data of logged-in user to JSON is considered bad.

  # MyApp.yaml
    allow_callbacks: 1

  sub foo : Local {
      my($self, $c) = @_;
      $c->stash->{address} = $c->user->street_address; # BAD

If you want to enable callbacks in a controller (for public API) and disable in another, you need to create two different View classes, like MyApp::View::JSON and MyApp::View::JSONP, because allow_callbacks is a static configuration of the View::JSON class.

See http://ajaxian.com/archives/gmail-csrf-security-flaw for more.

Avoid valid cross-site JSON requests

Even if you disable the callbacks, the nature of JavaScript still has a possiblity to access private JSON data cross-site, by overriding Array constructor [].

  # MyApp.yaml
    expose_stash: json

  sub foo : Local {
      my($self, $c) = @_;
      $c->stash->{json} = [ $c->user->street_address ]; # BAD

When you return logged-in user's private data to the response JSON, you might want to disable GET requests (because script tag invokes GET requests), or include a random digest string and validate it.

See http://jeremiahgrossman.blogspot.com/2006/01/advanced-web-attack-techniques-using.html for more.


Tatsuhiko Miyagawa <miyagawa@bulknews.net>


This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Following people has been contributing patches, bug reports and suggestions for the improvement of Catalyst::View::JSON.

John Wang kazeburo Daisuke Murase Jun Kuriyama


Catalyst, JSON, Encode::JavaScript::UCS

http://www.prototypejs.org/learn/json http://docs.jquery.com/Ajax/jQuery.getJSON http://manual.dojotoolkit.org/json.html http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/json/