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From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-05-07 02:29:41


> Ok now I understand, and basically share, your concerns
> about the lack of documentation on what goes into the serialization
> stream. Of course I can document my part in the case of B.MI,
> but for this to constitute a real cross-platform, cross-
> implementation spec one would additionally need that:
> 1. Other serializable types (serialization primitive and otherwise)
> do the same and document their way of stuffing themselves
> down the wire.
> 2. Boost.Serialization exposes its internal mechanism for
> serialization --I'm thinking here of things like versioning
> and pointer tracking-- at least to the extent that they
> reflect on what gets actually saved to the stream.

> This initiative is interesting (and would be almost mandatory
> if B.S was ever proposed to the standard) but its scope is
> community-wide and beyond the realm of an isolated class'
> definition IMHO. What does Robert think about this?

My stated goal was to permit the serialization an de-serialization
of any group of C++ data structures in the most expendient
way. I wanted the system to be simple to use, complete
and efficient.

To this end, I made a determined effort to separate
the external aspects in the "archives" and description
of the class attributes related to serialization in "serialization"

I refrained from and a-priori definition and description of
the external format for a couple of reasons:

a) it was too hard - I would require a huge amount of work
and forsight.
b) I believed - and still believe - that it conflicted with
my stated goals above.
c) I didn't think that the investment of time would be
worth it in brining the package "to market"

After some experience in seeing how the package is
being used and how hard/easy it is to use, I don't
regret my decisions.

If one want's to add an externallly defined language
independent format to the above goals, I think one
will be doomed to failure. Of course I could be
wrong and anyone is free to take a crack at it. Lots
of people have. I'm not sure how all the other
systems out there compare to boost serialization
these days.

So I don't see an externally documented format
for this boost serialization. Hence I don't see anything
like boost serialization ever appearing in the standard.
Perhaps some system which might functionally similar
but I think it would have to be grown from scratch
with a different set of goals and priorities.

Which is the reason that I think the whole concept
of library standards have been over-applied and
even detremental to the future success of C++.

Robert Ramey

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