[swift-evolution] [Proposal] Foundation Swift Archival & Serialization

Matthew Johnson matthew at anandabits.com
Fri Mar 17 19:56:37 CDT 2017

> On Mar 17, 2017, at 6:15 PM, Brent Royal-Gordon <brent at architechies.com> wrote:
>> On Mar 17, 2017, at 3:35 PM, Matthew Johnson <matthew at anandabits.com <mailto:matthew at anandabits.com>> wrote:
>>> In all seriousness, I see the design as very slightly weak, in that it makes it easy to forget to pass a context through, but quite acceptable. 
>> Easy for who?  I was not requiring Codable types to thread it through at all.  The context was fully managed by the Encoder / Decoder type.  The only place Codable types work with the context is as an argument they receive.  They never pass it when encoding or decoding anything.  The Encoder / Decoder would need to store the context internally and when call is made to encode / decode a ContextAwareCodable it would pass the result of a dynamic cast to ContextAwareCodable.Context as the context.
> Oh, I see. Sorry, I missed that when I was looking at your design.
> In practice, in my design, you would only need to manually pass a context to `encode(_:forKey:with:)` if the context was of a different type than `self`’s.

Oh, I see.  I missed that part of your design.  I really like it with the shorthands.  I’m fully on board with this being the right way to handle contexts now.  I think Context should be in the basic Codable protocol.  That leaves the question of what to do with NSKeyedArchiver and NSKeyedUnarchiver.  I’m not sure what the answer is for those but it would be unfortunate to see the design compromised solely because of a requirement to interoperate with them.

> This would probably happen at module or subsystem boundaries. Imagine, for instance, that your FooKit module (for interacting with the foo.io <http://foo.io/> web service) needs to encode a GeoKit.Location instance, but both FooKit and GeoKit need information from a context to encode themselves properly, and they use different context types. When FooKit encoded a GeoKit.Location, it could construct and pass a GeoKit context.
> I believe that in your design, unless the FooKit context was a subtype of the GeoKit context, you wouldn't be able to get GeoKit.Location to do the right thing.

Right.  It was assuming only one context would be needed for an entire encoding / decoding process.  I don’t know of use cases where one module could meaningfully provide a context to another module unless they were very closely related (i.e. built as parts of the same system) but maybe they do exist.  Your design is able to accommodate this very well.

I made some compromises to try and diverge from the current proposal as little as possible while still solving the primary use cases I’m aware of.  Now that I understand your design I think it has enough advantages that we should go in that direction.  And we certainly should not go in the direction of something that requires Any.

> If that weren't the case—if you were encoding a type with a matching context, or with a `Void` context—you could use the two convenience methods, which would handle the context argument for you. So threading contexts would only be necessary in a relatively rare case.

Yep, that’s very elegant!

> -- 
> Brent Royal-Gordon
> Architechies

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.swift.org/pipermail/swift-evolution/attachments/20170317/c2a1d2b8/attachment.html>

More information about the swift-evolution mailing list