2012-08-02

[GNOME] GXml Serialisation update

As Daniel Siegel kindly pointed out to me in person a couple hours ago, I've missed an update last week.  That's because I was busy preparing for GUADEC, the GNOME Users and Developers European Conference, in A Coruña, Spain this past week.  I'll write about the conference separately, but now I'll give an update on the current status of GXml.  


  • Gave a 3-minute lightning talk about GXml Serialisation at GUADEC


  • The namespace has changed from GXmlDom to GXml.  Last year it was GXml.Dom.  This should make it more appealing just for writing.  Most of the DOM classes don't conflict with future GXml plans for SAX or XPath.  This also let me change GXmlDom.XNode to GXml.DomNode.  (It's not simply Node because higher level languages will get namespace conflicts with GNode in GLib.

  • Speaking with Philip Withnall gave me a basis to use Valadoc after all and still generate GtkDocs.  I'm following libfolks' autotool magic to manage this.  It's not particularly esoteric, but I'm no autotools master.


    • Speaking of which, the GXmlSerialization class and the GXmlSerializable interface are both well documented now.


  • A solution was picked to deal with multiple references to the same object when serialising.  It's the simple obvious solution: assign objects a deterministic ID as they're serialised, and let references after the first one just refer to it.  That lets us easily deserialise it without erroneously duplicating objects and separating their references.

  • I've spoken with developers who want to use it for data storage on disk.  I also received recommendations for systems to try to port to it.  Someone suggested GNote, but I believe they're trying to stay compatible with Tomboy.  I have to look into what their current situation is.  If you're involved in software that currently manages saving data to disk in XML (or something uglier than json) by itself, and would like to rely on something clean and simple, let me know, and I can prototype a patch and make sure your usage case is taken into account as I stabilise serialisation.

  • Support for automatic serialisation of collections is coming along.  Someone asked me to supported GBoxed types like json-glib does, so I will pursue that too.


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