Serde is a framework for serializing and deserializing Rust data structures efficiently and generically.
The Serde ecosystem consists of data structures that know how to serialize and deserialize themselves along with data formats that know how to serialize and deserialize other things. Serde provides the layer by which these two groups interact with each other, allowing any supported data structure to be serialized and deserialized using any supported data format.
See the Serde website https://serde.rs/ for additional documentation and usage examples.
Where many other languages rely on runtime reflection for serializing data,
Serde is instead built on Rust's powerful trait system. A data structure
that knows how to serialize and deserialize itself is one that implements
Deserialize traits (or uses Serde's code
generation to automatically derive implementations at compile time). This
avoids any overhead of reflection or runtime type information. In fact in
many situations the interaction between data structure and data format can
be completely optimized away by the Rust compiler, leaving Serde
serialization to perform roughly the same speed as a handwritten serializer
for the specific selection of data structure and data format.
The following is a partial list of data formats that have been implemented for Serde by the community.
- Bincode, a compact binary format used for IPC within the Servo rendering engine.
- CBOR, a Concise Binary Object Representation designed for small message size without the need for version negotiation.
- YAML, a popular human-friendly configuration language that ain't markup language.
- MessagePack, an efficient binary format that resembles a compact JSON.
- TOML, a minimal configuration format used by Cargo.
- Pickle, a format common in the Python world.
- Hjson, a variant of JSON designed to be readable and writable by humans.
- BSON, the data storage and network transfer format used by MongoDB.
- URL, the x-www-form-urlencoded format.
- XML, the flexible machine-friendly W3C standard. (deserialization only)
- Envy, a way to deserialize environment variables into Rust structs. (deserialization only)
- Redis, deserialize values from Redis when using redis-rs. (deserialization only)