#qt5 #binary #json #deserialize


This crate attempts to deserialize files serialized in Qt5's internal binary JSON format to a serde_json value

5 releases

Uses new Rust 2021

new 0.0.5 Jan 24, 2023
0.0.4 Oct 5, 2022
0.0.3 Oct 3, 2022
0.0.2 Sep 16, 2022
0.0.1 Sep 12, 2022

#471 in Encoding

38 downloads per month

MIT license

585 lines

About this library

This library is an attempt to deserialize files serialized in Qt5's internal binary JSON format.

I started this project because I wasn't aware of QBinaryJson and thought that applications migrating from Qt5 to Qt6 that were using this JSON document encoding were stuck with the incapacity to read this file format. Noneless, this "happy" mistake let me work on this project and discover many aspects of Rust and how to use Rust crates from C++ code.

This library is an attempt to provide an alternative to QBinaryJson. Since Qt5's internal binary JSON format has been deprecated in Qt6, only the capacity of reading file encoded in this format is addressed by this library, not the capacity to encode files in this format.

Also, so far, only little endian encoded files are supported.

To deserialize a document, call

pub fn deserialize_to_json(qbjs: &[u8]) -> Result<Value, DeserializeError> { ... }

The input parameter must be a u8 slice containing the whole file content as binary (including the header containing the qbjs tag and version). The output of the function is a serde_json::Value or an error, if any happened when deserializing the file.

How the deserialization is done

The deserialization is done in 2 steps.

First, the library analyses the input slice to determine the type of JSON values that are encoded and which bytes indexes in the slice should be read to decode these values. That's what the analysis module does. It doesn't read any data, it just tries to find the data slice indexes and translates the JSON structure in its output along with the slice indexes.

Second, once the analysis is done, the read module simply attempts to convert the output of the analysis step to actual JSON data.

File format transcode capacity

The Qt5's internal binary JSON format is deserialized as a serde Value. This serde Value can be given to serde compatible serializer to transcode to another file format (CBOR, YAML, ect: pick your preference).

Test data

Some basic JSON structures have been encoded to qbjs files thanks to the utilitary application registered as a submodule in utils/json_to_qbjs_converter. The JSON files used to generated the qbjs files with this tool are located in the tests/test_data/expected_json folder. These files are reused by tests: they are parsed with serde_json and the resulting JSON value is compared to the library output.


Qt is mainly used with C++ projects.

As mentionned in the "About this library" paragraph, QBinaryJson is available for C++ application that migrated to Qt6, and I recommend using this official implementation from Qt on production code (I believe the source code of Qt5 handling this binary JSON format was extracted to a dedicated compatibility module).

However if you feel adventurous and want to give a try to this Rust crate in your C++ codebase, I made this C++ FFI that is available in this repository. It provides conan packages and CMake finders.


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