Question about Val serialization

Robin Sommer sommer at
Tue Jul 13 02:44:53 PDT 2004

On Fri, Jul 09, 2004 at 11:34 -0700, you wrote:

> My question is, why is it necessary to send the full type details along
> with the val, and not just an identifier of the type? It seems to me

There are two main reasons:

- there isn't any direct assocation between types and identifiers;
while for a given id you can see whether it's a type, it doesn't
work the other way round: a type does not need to have a name (and
even if it has, it may be hard to get access to it).

- the value serialization is part of the larger picture which is
serializing a full Bro configuration. In this context a certain type
does not need to be known on the receiving side.

> So, is there any chance that sending the type along will be optional in
> the new serialization protocol?

Actually, I've now completely removed the possibility to send a
value w/o a type (as you have seen in the old code it was possible
given that the receiving side could deduce the type somehow). Given
the caching this works pretty good and makes things considerably

On the other hand, I can very well imagine a format in which,
alternatively, a type can be specified by a string (e.g. which would
then be looked up in the global ID space. Bro would probably not
sent something like this itself but receiving it from Broccolli
should be easy. So, the answer is yes. I'll add it.


Robin Sommer * Room        01.08.055 *
TU Muenchen  * Phone (089) 289-18006 *  sommer at 

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