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Effective Serialization Framework Recommendation – DZone Java


With persistence or network transmission, we need a serialization framework.

XML and JSON are readable, but not so effective.  Protobuf/thrift/avro has good performance, but there is a need to write IDL and import a heavy library.

Finally, I wrote one by myself, which I named Packable.  Packable’s design and implementation take reference from Protobuf and Parcelable,  but is different from both of them.

Packable has the following advantages:

  1. Fast encoding/decoding
  2. Compact coding and small size
  3. Easy to use, flexible
  4. The code is light
  5. Support multiple types
  6. Support multiple compression strategies
  7. Supports multiple languages and cross-platforms

Packable currently implements versions of Java, C++, C#, Objective-C, Go.

Example 

static class Data implements Packable {
    String msg;
    Item[] items;

    @Override
    public void encode(PackEncoder encoder) {
        encoder.putString(0, msg)
                .putPackableArray(1, items);
    }

    public static final PackCreator<Data> CREATOR = decoder -> {
        Data data = new Data();
        data.msg = decoder.getString(0);
        data.items = decoder.getPackableArray(1, Item.CREATOR);
        return data;
    };
}

static class Item implements Packable {
    int a;
    long b;

    Item(int a, long b) {
        this.a = a;
        this.b = b;
    }

    @Override
    public void encode(PackEncoder encoder) {
        encoder.putInt(0, a);
        encoder.putLong(1, b);
    }

    static final PackArrayCreator<Item> CREATOR = new PackArrayCreator<Item>() {
        @Override
        public Item[] newArray(int size) {
            return new Item[size];
        }

        @Override
        public Item decode(PackDecoder decoder) {
            return new Item(
                    decoder.getInt(0),
                    decoder.getLong(1)
            );
        }
    };
}

static void test() {
    Data data = new Data();
    
    byte[] bytes = PackEncoder.marshal(data);
   
    Data data_2 = PackDecoder.unmarshal(bytes, Data.CREATOR);
}

Serialization

  1. Implements the interface Packable.
  2. Implement the encode() method, to encode each field (PackEncoder provides various types of API).
  3. Call the PackEncoder.marshal() method, transfer the object, and get the byte array.

Deserialization

  1. Create a static object, which is an instance of PackCreator.
  2. Implement the decode() method, decode each field, and assign it to the object.
  3. Call PackDecoder.unmarshal(), transfer the byte array and PackCreator instance.

If you need to deserialize an array of objects, you need to create an instance of PackArrayCreator (Only Java version needs to do this; other platforms have no need to do this).

The example above is only one of the examples. It can be used flexibly.

  1. PackCreator does not have to be created in the class which implements Packable. It can also be created anywhere else.
  2. If you only need serialization (sender), you just need to implement Packable.
  3. You can also directly encode/decode the message.
static void test2() {
    String msg = "message";
    int a = 100;
    int b = 200;

    PackEncoder encoder = new PackEncoder();
    encoder.putString(0, msg)
                .putInt(1, a)
                .putInt(2, b);
    byte[] bytes = encoder.getBytes();

    PackDecoder decoder = PackDecoder.newInstance(bytes);
    String dMsg = decoder.getString(0);
    int dA = decoder.getInt(1);
    int dB = decoder.getInt(2);
    decoder.recycle();

    boolean equal = msg.equals(dMsg) && (a == dA) && (b == dB);
    Assert.assertTrue(equal);
}

Benchmark

Space of serialization bytes:

Space (byte)
packable 2537191 (57%)
protobuf 2614001 (59%)
gson 4407901 (100%)

Process time:

PC (Macbook Pro)

Serialization (ms) Deserialization (ms)
packable 9 8
protobuf 19 11
gson 67 46

Phone (Huawei Honor 20S)

Serialization (ms) Deserialization (ms)
packable 32 21
protobuf 81 38
gson 190 128

You are welcome to use it or join the project.  The project has been published to Github: https://github.com/BillyWei001/Packable



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