SBinary progress

If things have seemed a little quiet on the SBinary front, do not despair! It’s not because I’ve abandoned it. Partly I’ve been very busy recently, but I’ve also been held up with various issues on the implementation. One was waiting on Scala 2.7.1 as it fixes an issue I had with implicits, and another was a feature that I’ve decided to defer to 0.3 (to do with modifiers for binary instances. In particular I wanted to get sharing based on identity working properly, but I kept running into issues)

Anyway, I’ve spent most of today working on it and things are going pretty well. You can expect a 0.2 release at some point after 2.7.1 goes final. It will feature:

  • A revised API that I think is nicer to work with. It replaces the use of DataInput and DataOutput with custom Input and Output types. These define read and write methods for reading and writing things with Binary instances, plus a few other useful methods.
  • Improved generic methods for defining binary instances. In particular the length encoding has got a revamp and asUnionN has become significantly less irritating to work with.
  • A certain amount of experimental support for lazy IO via Streams. I’m not totally convinced this is a good idea, but it’s sufficiently useful that I’m going to provide it anyway with a big red warning sticker.
  • A much larger set of data types handled out of the box. It should cover most of the types available form the Scala standard library that it reasonably can (it can’t handle things like functions, etc)

As promised, this release should still be binary compatible with the last one.

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