I was looking at the Apex 4.2.2 installation script (coreins.sql), and noticed the mention of a new package, wwv_flow_json, which is apparently being worked on but was removed at the last minute "as no longer required for 4.2.2".
Even though the package is not installed into the database in Apex 4.2.2, the source code files are still present in the download. Looking at wwv_flow_json.sql we can see that this is a "JSON lexer and parser":
Now, obviously there is no guarantee of this package appearing in the next Apex release (5.0?), and the package spec even says it is not a public package and not for runtime deployment.
However, I would love to see an APEX_JSON package (that is, a synonym to the wwv_flow_json package) being bundled with Apex as an official, supported package. (It would obviously also need to be part of the runtime deployment to be of any use.)
Of course, there's already the excellent PL/JSON project which implements a JSON parser as an object type (and comes with a number of JSON-related utilities), but it would be great to have JSON parsing capabilities built-in to any Apex application (ie any database with Apex installed).
Also, it would make sense to move the JSON-generating procedures (json_from_items, json_from_sql, etc.) from APEX_UTIL to APEX_JSON. Those procedures, by the way, are still undocumented as of Apex 4.2.2.
So, dear Apex team, please consider adding the APEX_JSON package as a supported, documented, runtime-deployed package in the next Apex release!
And dear blog reader, if you think this is a good idea, go to the Apex Feature Request application and vote for my request with identifier "AFZU".