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Serialise package

This package provides support for serialising and deserialising arbitrary data structures.

The API is designed to require capability tokens, as otherwise serialising would leak the bit patterns of all private information in a type if the resulting Array[U8] could be examined.

Deserialisation is fundamentally unsafe currently: there isn't yet a verification pass to check that the resulting object graph maintains a well-formed heap or that individual objects maintain any expected local invariants. However, if only "trusted" data (i.e. data produced by Pony serialisation from the same binary) is deserialised, it will always maintain a well-formed heap and all object invariants.

Note that serialised data is not usable between different Pony binaries. This is due to the use of type identifiers rather than a heavy-weight self-describing serialisation schema. This also means it isn't safe to deserialise something serialised by the same program compiled for a different platform.

The Serialise.signature method is provided for the purposes of comparing communicating Pony binaries to determine if they are the same. Confirming this before deserialising data can help mitigate the risk of accidental serialisation across different Pony binaries, but does not on its own address the security issues of accepting data from untrusted sources.

Public Types