Introducing ijq, an Interactive jq Tool

If you’re unfamiliar with the tool jq, it describes itself as the “sed for JSON”. It’s a powerful command line tool that lets you do complex parsing and manipulation of JSON documents and is extremely useful for testing APIs or analysing JSON datasets.

One challenge with jq, however, is finding just the right filter. The query language that jq uses is not always obvious, so typically you’ll spend a bit of time getting it just right to select the data you need.

jq play solves this problem by providing an interactive jq environment that allows you to see the filtered results of your query in real time. vim-jqplay is similar, but runs inside of Vim. I thought this was a pretty neat idea, so I thought I’d take a stab at making something similar that works not in Vim but directly on the command line. I call it ijq, or “interactive jq”.

Mostly this was just an excuse to get some more practice with Go (which is what I used to write ijq). But I do think this will actually be quite useful. It mostly works as a drop-in jq replacement, since you can use it to output the resulting JSON object to another file or process.

Here’s a quick video:

asciicast

You can get ijq over on sourcehut.

Last modified by Greg Anders on