Today I gave my really old encode/decode package to the public domain. As far as I remember, I developed the very first version of the library during my thesis at the university. That was back in 1995 :smirk: I needed a simple way to communicate between processes, regardless if they were on the same or on a remote machine. I simply used objects that were sent via a kind of channels from one process to the other. Channels could be tcp/ip connections or a shared memory object with the same interface. encode/decode was a way to (de)serialize standard CLOS objects.

Later, during the following years and research projects at the department for AI the library was refactored to work with basically any Lisp data structure. Think of it as a pickle for Common Lisp.

Now, after discovering SBCL and revisiting Lisp I did a small rework again, to make it use up-to-date standard mechanisms as ASDF2.

A simple example - Serialization of a some standard data structures:

Serialization of simple examples:

$ (ms:marshal (list 1 2 3 "Foo" "Bar"
        (make-array '(3) :initial-contents '(a b c))))
--> (:PCODE 1
        (:LIST 1 2 3 (:SIMPLE-STRING 2 "Foo")
        (:SIMPLE-STRING 3 "Bar")
        (:ARRAY 4 (3) T (A B C))))


$ (ms:unmarshal '(:PCODE 1
    (:LIST 1 2 3 (:SIMPLE-STRING 2 "Foo")
    (:SIMPLE-STRING 3 "Bar")
    (:ARRAY 4 (3) T (A B C)))))
--> (2 3 "Foo" "Bar" #(A B C))

That means that a

(ms:unmarshal (ms:marshal myobject))

returns a deep clone of myobject.

For more examples and more information take a look at Github