[Haskell-beginners] Haskell Serialization

Ashish Agarwal agarwal1975 at gmail.com
Tue May 11 13:00:43 EDT 2010

Thanks for your responses.

> Only it might give rise to confusion if somebody wants to transmit those
> types according to another protocol.

So are Binary instances perceived to be just for (de)serializing from/to
Haskell? Would it be better style for me to define a new type class with
methods getProt and putProt, where Prot is whatever protocol I'm supporting?

> numbers are always big-endian

I have been wondering about the difference in put/get instances of Word
types versus the getWord8be, getWord8le, etc. functions. Since the default
instances use big-endian, is there any difference between the following:

    get (0::Word8)
    getWord8be 0

What exactly are the guarantees for Binary instances, only that get and put
are inverses? Are all other features possibly different between compiler
versions or different implementations of Haskell?

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 5:49 PM, Stephen Tetley <stephen.tetley at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi Ashish
> Daniel has largely answered this for me (thanks Daniel!).
> If you define Binary instances for your data types to match a protocol
> - then as Daniel says you can only use them for that protocol.
> Similarly the all the regular Haskell types - Int, Word8, Float, etc.
> - have Binary instances ready-made which you may not want when dealing
> with anything non-Haskell [*]: numbers are always big-endian, the
> encodings for Integers, Floats and the like are sparsely documented
> and may well handle signs differently to an equivalent C / Java / ...
> representation.
> [*] Personally I'd go as far as saying, as saying you should avoid
> them entirely except for writing other instances of the Binary class.
> Best wishes
> Stephen
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