storing application state as XML

Steve Kearon stevek at
Thu Jun 24 10:20:11 BST 1999

I wrote:

>> When opening a file, we tolerate quite a lot (eg someone could add
>> attributes/elements that we'll ignore).

David Byrden wrote:

>Various issues can arise when you modify
>a class, then try to deserialize objects stored by the
>earlier version. So the decision to ignore unknown attributes
>can become important later on. Have a look at Java Serialisation
>and see how they address it.

I agree. One must take care. Currently, such an "ignore unknown attributes"
is there to facilitate read-only data, and (where practicable)
version-independence in the software. With XML, we get to choose how far we
can force a compatible format, and when we need to add version info. This
was never an option with MFC, and we saw no way of acheiving even limited
forwards-compatibility of file format.

Steve Kearon

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