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From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-12-13 00:37:29

My usage of "Serialization" is:

Serialization is a by directional transformation or mapping of an arbitray set
of Objects to a sequence of bytes.

The following link has a nice definition of "Serializer Pattern" which is line
with my usage.

Of course a Serialization libary can be used to implement persistence,
transmission of objects, and perhaps other things that I havn't thought of.
But these are separate functions and totally orthogonal to serialization itself.

One thing that my usage of "serialization" does not include is transformation
or mapping to any other arbitrary format. Some formats may not be rich enough
to capture the "meaning" of the set of objects in a useful way. For example
capturing an arbitrary set of C++ objects in a CSV file might be possible, but
it would be no richer than a simple sequence of bytes. Hence, though possible,
it would be pointless.

A synonym for "serialization" would be "flattening"

Robert Ramey

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