[Haskell-cafe] Fwd: Re: Binary and Serialize classes

Evan Laforge qdunkan at gmail.com
Wed May 4 14:41:43 CEST 2011

On Tue, May 3, 2011 at 7:13 AM, Alberto G. Corona <agocorona at gmail.com> wrote:
> E1610With the exception of heavy  serialization usage, for example, in very
> optimized RPC applications (and even there SOAP shows that this is not ever
> the case), text serialization is better. The unwritten rules of good design
> says that data representation and compression must be orthogonal. The binary
> formats were designed for performing both functionalities in the times when
> memory were measured in Kbytes.

Actually, I'm using binary because it seems simpler.  If it were text,
I'd have to come up with some text format.  I'd either have to invent
some ad-hoc new language or figure out how to fit it into some generic
format like JSON.  There would be parsing, an intermediate format,
conversion, typechecking, blah blah.  All this complexity for what
exactly?  So people could edit the serialized output with a text
editor?  Why don't they edit it with my program, which is designed for
that?  At least just import the deserialize module and edit the typed
data structure in the REPL.  And say people do start editing it with
text editors... now the format is inching toward public, and I can't
change it without breaking someone's text editor habits.

In fact, if I serialize the same data with Data.Serialize and with
'show', the binary version is slightly larger!  I imagine it's because
zeros in text format can fit in a few bytes, while in binary they
always take the full 32 or 64 bits (or 128 for the default Double
serialization!).  So for me at least, it has nothing to do with

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