A Python implementation of Amazon Ion.

pip install amazon.ion==0.12.0


Amazon Ion Python

An implementation of Amazon Ion for Python.

Build Status Documentation Status

This package is designed to work with Python 3.8+. Newer language features will be used as deemed valuable. Support may be dropped for versions more than six months past EOL.

Getting Started

Install using pip with the following command.

python3 -m pip install amazon.ion

Start with the simpleion module, which provides four APIs (dump, dumps, load, loads) that will be familiar to users of Python's built-in JSON parsing module. Simpleion module's performance is improved by an optional C extension.

For example:

>>> import amazon.ion.simpleion as ion
>>> obj = ion.loads('{abc: 123}')
>>> obj['abc']
>>> ion.dumps(obj, binary=False)
'$ion_1_0 {abc:123}'

For additional examples, consult the cookbook.

Git Setup

This repository contains two git submodules. ion-tests holds test data used by ion-python's unit tests and ion-c speeds up ion-python's simpleion module.

The easiest way to clone the ion-python repository and initialize its ion-tests submodule is to run the following command.

$ git clone --recursive https://github.com/amazon-ion/ion-python.git ion-python

Alternatively, the submodule may be initialized independently from the clone by running the following commands.

$ git submodule init
$ git submodule update


It is recommended to use venv to create a clean environment to build/test Ion Python.

$ python3 -m venv ./venv
$ . venv/bin/activate
$ pip install -U pip
$ pip install -U setuptools
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
$ pip install -e .

You can also run the tests through setup.py or py.test directly.

$ python setup.py test

Tox Setup

In order to verify that all platforms we support work with Ion Python, we use a combination of tox with pyenv.

We recommend that you use tox within a virtual environment to isolate from whatever is in the system installed Python (requirements.txt installs tox).

Install relevant versions of Python:

$ for V in 3.8.10 3.9.5 do pyenv install $V; done

Once you have these installations, add them as a local pyenv configuration

$ pyenv local 3.8.10 3.9.5

Assuming you have pyenv properly set up (making sure pyenv init is evaluated into your shell), you can now run tox:

# Run tox for all versions of python which executes py.test.
$ tox

# Run tox for just Python 3.8 and 3.9.
$ tox -e py38,py39

# Run tox for a specific version and run py.test with high verbosity
$ tox -e py39 -- py.test -vv

# Run tox for a specific version and just the virtual env REPL.
$ tox -e py39 -- python


The following build, deployment, or release tasks are required:

  • Add support for code coverage reporting.
  • Consider using something like PyPy.js to build an interactive shell for playing with Ion python and provide a client-side Ion playground.

Known Issues

tests/test_vectors.py defines skipList variables referencing test vectors that are not expected to work at this time.