Ah, sorry for leaving this for so long. You know, I think I might just toss this patch. I added it on my first day on my current team, without really realizing how this would even be used. I had just heard from Rob (who wrote the patch for
BIGTOP-1718) that he wasn't sure how to get rid of the extraneous null values in the output, so I figured out how to do it. But it seems like it's not even really that necessary because I don't think the JSON output will normally be read by humans. I think the idea was to make it easier to use the BOM programmatically, for example, when generating release notes.