2012-07-06

[GNOME] Smoothing serialisation

Tomorrow I'll elaborate on some challenges, but for now I'll summarise the past two weeks


  • spent most of the first week on school stuff.  I'm a Masters student and thesis work doesn't really stop, so unfortunately, I ended up with meetings and some overwhelming stuff


    • I did get a letter to ebassi at the start and got to think about his wonderful response


  • spent the second week


    • designing tests

    • designing interfaces

    • creating tests

    • determining modifications required to pass tests

    • implementing modifications



I pushed them over the past few hours to git. :)



Current state of XML serialisation


  • a GObject can be automatically serialised if all you want is


    • to serialise its public properties.  Depending on how you handle an object's properties, this could be enough, as long as the internal logic isn't hiding anything that wouldn't restore itself when the same properties are again set.  I think this is similar to what json-glib serialisation automatically handles.

    • to serialise types that GValue can transform into strings, including enums, or objects that only contain one of these three.



What's coming this week


  • The interface you'll want to implement to manually handle parts of serialisation (e.g. non-public property data). I've been using thesis code to test this from the start.  I'm sadly not allowed to share my thesis code, but I'll be using general examples in the code I'll commit over the next few days.


Next two weeks


  • Collections, I want to have automatic support for a bunch


    • GList is hard, because its ParamSpec just calls it a gpointer, so I need to figure out how to identify it, but GHashTable gets to be a GHashTable.  

    • Gee's collections seem like they might be easier


  • ask glib people more about serialisation interface requirements for glib.  ebassi briefly mentioned the idea in the last e-mail, so I should get back to him with some more concrete questions.


Stuff to consider


  • Data other than public properties.  Is this desirable?  ebassi's response to my last e-mail the other week made me think it's not that desirable.  Right now I have tests for private properties (that fail) and public and private fields (that fail).  I sort of like the idea of automagically serialising as much as possible.

  • Merging with glib.


Note: I use "serialise" with -ise in my writing, but the code uses "serialize" through out.  



Tomorrow I'll talk about issues I ran into and a couple bugs I filed. :)  #vala and #gnome have been lovely, if a bit peaceful, for help so far.  So has looking at more source code for libraries than I ever expected. :D

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