XML for Java serialization

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Fri Jan 29 18:05:40 GMT 1999

Paul Prescod wrote:

> Tyler Baker wrote:
> >
> > Well it is pretty simple to say IDs are the answer.  They are indeed a possibility.  Try
> > coming up with an implementation which resolves circular references and can be rebuilt back
> > into its original in-memory data structure.  Implementation is not as simple as it sounds...
> Circular references are no more or less tricky than in binary
> serialization.

I guess we are arguing the definition of "simple" which is pretty pointless IMHO.  Most decent
programmers I think would have a problem implementing serialization in binary format, not to
mention something like XML.  I never said writing this kind of code was insurmountable, just that
it is difficult and doing an efficient implementation is more difficult.  If you look at the
source code to the java.io.ObjectInputStream and java.io.ObjectOutputStream classes you will see
that it looks pretty messy, which is probably because just getting things to work is hard enough
as well as the likelihood that these folks were probably a lot more concerned about performance
than elegance.

On a related note, the KOML package I looked at a long time ago and I was not impressed.  I just
had a look see at KOML a few moments ago and found something much more impressive (JDK 1.2 I
believe has made custom serialization a bit easier to implement now).  It would be interesting if
the Koala folks could release some numbers of KOML serialization vs. standard Java Object
Serialization.  Right now Java Object Serialization is better than in JDK 1.1, but it is still
very heavyweight.  Some open-standards XML Serialization approach would be a great alternative to
Java's built in serialization, especially for my own current needs in a few apps I have been
working on.


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