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This is what curl http://api.stackoverflow.com/1.0/users/113124/favorites returns

^_<8b>^H^@^@^@^@^@^D^@ì½^G`^\I<96>%&/mÊ{^?JõJ×àt¡^H<80>`^S$Ø<90>@^PìÁ<88>Íæ<92>ì^]iG#)«*<81>ÊeVe]f^V@Ìí<9d>¼÷Þ{ï½÷Þ{ï½÷º;<9d>N'÷ßÿ?\fd^AlöÎJÚÉ<9e>!<80>ªÈ^_?~|^_?"~ño<9c>¤éGmÕfåG<8f>ÒO^_Þ^[ñ^G«ì"§¿wÝ_Mñ^C|roG>úEë¼i<8b>jÙÐgßÃ'iú<8b>å^GÀe^WÞçüѪ*Ëæ£<91>÷Éùz^Yüý<8b>ÖU<9b>7^_<99>O¾o¿û([6WyýûO«õ²^E<92>÷>uß<9d>g<97>U]´¹ývwoï¡ûzZVM>ûýgYËÃÙ{ð`go÷ÞÞ½^<8b>:Ï<9a>jIm>ZVm<9a>¥ôw<99><9a>A:<í¸^?ÿ¶Xäe±Ì^?ÿu^MÊ}t×Räîý<83>O÷wî<9a>^F±<97>§Õb<91>/ÛfðeÓ ö²<90>cø]ý>öj1£7¸<95>û²¬¦o}^R}º»ÿàáî<83>^C×¢ºZæ5}g'<98>>[74#^Lî`^?Ï<9f>Fþ¢½^^AØGu~Q4m^ç³`ªgE³*³ëß^?<99>-¸Y¾¢ÎË I<9d>¯ÖmÆÄ^GR^O<95>1õÛ|<91>^Uåï?Ï<9a>9^ß<9b>~º÷àÓýO÷>}øéäÞÎ<83>ÙÃ^G<9f>>Èv^_fy>Ý<99><9d>g<96>§~<89>7í4ÁL^R;î½Ý½Ýû^O?õ)<93>5íï<9f>Ï<8a>Ö5º^?°·óààÁýN£lÚ^V<97>E{í^Z^^ì?xððàþ¾k¸^ýþ<97><95>Ǩ÷ï{l<#^Z<87>_ïy¯^^Vù<95>cðý<83>{^^5>j¦U<8d>>ïßsóð^Qøg½^DF<98><LS[¯s÷}[´%<93>þsÐ!]ÕÕE<9d>-^VÅò"^MäÐPì^Ce[Ùù^VÂ}ß<97>Þ<9e>p^_øly^[QÜ=Øÿt÷àëÊ¢¾ýõ<84>Q_¾I^Z¥Ù°8îï<Ü9x¸ãqÃfq$^^>pìù5^EòͼZdMú¤ÎÚvX,÷v^_¸ÉêIåùäáîýó<9d>ɽl'»÷ðÁÁÃÝóýóÙ§³lòét/<9b>^^ÜR*ïí?ütÿàÁF©d^ZÝóÍÂ^F©Ü§^?<86>¥òÞ<83>]÷e_*w<87>¤òþ½<83>½O½i4Ryï¾×Ù­¥ò»s^RÊ¢IÛy<9e>N<88>[ReÁ´X¦Mµ®§9}2ËÓëj<9d>γË<Í/ó:Í<97><8c>^Mf÷÷x^_ù<9d>~òI0É$)ëwÁ'ù»¢ÝF<8f>·<90>`O^KeÓi¾j<89><9b>µ  3è½^G÷öww=^EÖ<93>r^OÂmd<9c>^Aîì}]!7¯^?=)7oß$æÚî¶RüpÏçù¯)ůó¬&m2,À÷=G¨'¿<93>ÙþäüÓÙù½ýÉÁÁ<83><87><93>}2­÷^_ÞËóÙîlïþùþíä<97><84>m÷þ§<9f>zb^S<91>_4útoçVò{owÇ7^B]ùõ^Y«/¾<9e>q^O¤wÏ<9f>^Y#º>¨¾ä<9e>ge^S^WÝët<9a>-Û<8f>Ó3r"Ûu

Is this because the data returned is in JSON? How can I see it as text using commandline?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The data is gzipped. Will link to related questions.

  1. http://stackapps.com/questions/1270/possible-gzip-or-data-format-problems-when-trying-to-read-json
  2. http://stackapps.com/questions/907/strange-encoding-for-json-output

  3. http://stackapps.com/questions/208/odd-string-format-result-from-api-call

item 1 is specific to cUrl.

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thanks! gunzip dos the job! –  Lazer Sep 18 '10 at 17:05
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Skys answer already denotes the reason and principle solution via curl library functions - regarding your specific question How can I see it as text using commandline? the curl shell command offers a built in solution as well, you'll need to add a parameter like so:

curl --compressed http://api.stackoverflow.com/1.0/users/113124/favorites
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hmmm... looks like the right answer to me. –  Sky Sanders Sep 19 '10 at 19:31
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