Re: Serializing binary data for use accross different platforms

Victor Bazarov <v.bazarov@comcast.invalid>
Thu, 06 May 2010 09:27:33 -0400
On 5/6/2010 8:16 AM, Jeff Flinn wrote:

Peter Olcott wrote:

If only integer base types are used, then it seems that serializing
data for cross platform use requires only two things:
(1) Decomposing aggregate types into sequences of integral types.
(2) Accounting for Endianess (Big, Little, Mixed).

Endianess can be determined at run time by casting known values (such
as 0x12345678, and 0x1234) for unsigned int and unsigned short into

Is there anything that I am missing here?

Floating point representations, include nan, inf.

Properly managing pointers and refs, lest you end up with lots of
extraneous copies.

Extraneous copies? Pointers express the "refers-to" relationship,
references basically do the same. They have to be converted into some
kind of data structure describing that "connection". It does require
each "referred-to" object to have a unique identifier and register it so
that any relationship can be recreated, which puts quite a toll on the
serialization mechanism...

Look at boost::serialization and it's portable_binary_archive for other

And I wonder, what they do with pointers? Most likely they don't even
provide any mechanism so the users wouldn't be tempted to serialize

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