Accepted answer

If you just want to convert between these structures, this is pretty simple. See working fiddle:

function convert(input, rootName) {
    // top level
    if (Array.isArray(input)) {
        return {
            "canonical": rootName,
    // node
    else {
        ['left', 'right'].forEach(function(side) {
            if (input[side]) {
                input.children = input.children || [];
                delete input[side];
        return input;

This uses a couple of ECMAScript 1.5 features (Array.isArray, forEach, and map), but if you're using d3 you're probably targeting browsers that support this anyway.

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