sbin 0.10.0

Simple binary [de]serialize

To use this package, run the following command in your project's root directory:

Manual usage
Put the following dependency into your project's dependences section:

Simple binary [de]serialize

GitHub Workflow Status codecov Dub License


Library provides functions for simple serialize and deserialize data:

You can serialize/deserialize numbers, arrays, enums, structs and combinations of those.


void sbinSerialize(RH=EmptyReprHandler, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__, Ts...)
    (auto ref R r, auto ref const Ts vals) if (isOutputRange!(R, ubyte) && Ts.length && isReprHandler!RH);

Call put(r, <data>) for all fields in vals recursively.

Do not allocate memory if used range with @nogc put.

ubyte[] sbinSerialize(RH=EmptyReprHandler, T, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__)
    (auto ref const T val) if (isReprHandler!RH)

Uses inner appender!(ubyte[]).

void sbinDeserialize(RH=EmptyReprHandler, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__, Target...)
    (R range, ref Target target) if (isReprHandler!RH);

Fills target from range bytes

Target sbinDeserialize(Target, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__)(R range);

Target sbinDeserialize(RH=EmptyReprHandler, Target, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__)
    (R range) if (isReprHandler!RH);

Creates Unqual!Target ret, fill it and return.

Can throw:

  • SBinDeserializeEmptyRangeException then try read empty range
  • SBinDeserializeException then after deserialize input range is not empty

Exception messages builds with gc (~ is used for concatenate).

Allocate memory if deserialize:

  • strings
  • associative arrays
  • dynamic array if target length is not equal length from input bytes
void sbinDeserializePart(RH=EmptyReprHandler, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__, Target...)
    (ref R range, ref Target target) if (isInputRange!R && is(Unqual!(ElementType!R) == ubyte) && isReprHandler!RH);

Target sbinDeserializePart(RH=EmptyReprHandler, Target, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__)
    (ref R range) if (isReprHandler!RH);

Target sbinDeserializePart(Target, R, string file=__FILE__, size_t line=__LINE__)(ref R range);

Can throw:

  • SBinDeserializeEmptyRangeException then try read empty range

Key points

  • dynamic arrays (associative arrays too) and algebraic types (serialized only current value, not full storage) has variable length, all other types has fixed size
  • raw unions are not allowed by default, for allowing use config allow-raw-unions


// All enums serialize as numbers
enum Color
    black = "#000000",
    red = "#ff0000",
    green = "#00ff00",
    blue = "#0000ff",
    white = "#ffffff"

struct Foo
    ulong a;
    float b, c;
    ushort d;
    string str;
    Color color;
    @sbinSkip int local = 42;

const foo1 = Foo(10, 3.14, 2.17, 8, "s1",;

//                 a              b            c       d
const foo1Size = ulong.sizeof + float.sizeof * 2 + ushort.sizeof +
//         str                      color
        (1 + foo1.str.length) + ubyte.sizeof;
// length of dynamic arrays packed to variable length uint

// color is ubyte because [EnumMembers!Color].length < ubyte.max

const foo1Data = foo1.sbinSerialize; // used inner appender

assert(foo1Data.length == foo1Size);

// deserialization return instance of Foo
assert(foo1Data.sbinDeserialize!Foo == foo1);

const foo2 = Foo(2, 2.22, 2.22, 2, "str2",;

const foo2Size = ulong.sizeof + float.sizeof * 2 + ushort.sizeof +
                    (1 + foo2.str.length) + ubyte.sizeof;

enum Level { low, medium, high }

struct Bar
    ulong a;
    float b;
    Level level;
    Foo[] foos;

auto bar = Bar(123, 3.14, Level.high, [ foo1, foo2 ]);

//                   a               b          level
const barSize = ulong.sizeof + float.sizeof + ubyte.sizeof +
//                           foos
                (ubyte.sizeof + foo1Size + foo2Size);

assert(bar.sbinSerialize.length == barSize);

Stable binary format across minor releases

If you use sbin to serialize data to and from file, you will be interested to maintain stability in the binary serialization format, so that files saved with older versions of your softare can be opened in newer versions. Sbin has been using the same format since release 0.5.0, and will continue doing so at least until the major version number is bumped. It is therefore safe to allow dub to do minor version upgrades with a version specification like ~>0.8, equivalent to ">=0.8.0 <1.0.0".

If, in the future, changes to the format are made, then sbin will provide a variant of sbinDeserialize that supports the older format(s). This will be mentioned in the release notes.

However, it will be up to the application programmer (you) to call the correct variant of sbinDeserialize. You are therefore advised to save your files with a file header from which you will always be able to derive the format version with which the succeeding bytes should be deserialized.

(Of course the major version number may be bumped without changing the format.)

Skipping fields

If a field in a struct has the @sbinSkip attribute, the field will not be serialized. Upon deserialization the field will have the value of the static initializer if there is one, or .init otherwise.

Variable length integers

You can use vlint and vluint. They are long and ulong under the hood. Minimal count of bytes that they need is 1: for vlint it will be for values [-63, 64], for vluint for [0, 127]. Maximum count of bytes is 10 for values near the limit of long and ulong.

Custom [de]serialization algorithm

Add to your type Foo:

  • T sbinCustomRepr() @property const where T is serializable representation of Foo, what can be used for full restore data
  • static Foo sbinFromCustomRepr()(auto ref const T repr) what returns is new instance for your deserialization type

Tagged algebraics


Phobos 2.097 include std.sumtype, it supports too.

Types that can't be changed

For example std.bitmanip.BitArray has pointer, std.datetime.SysTime has class field TimeZone. They can't be serialized automaticaly. For solving this problem you can use representation handlers.

Representation handler is simple struct with sbinReprHandler enum field and static methods, two methods for one wrapped type: repr for get representation, fromRepr for get original type.


struct RH
    // need for detecting representation handlers
    enum sbinReprHandler;


    // representation must can be [de]serialized
    static struct BAW { vluint bc; void[] data; }

    // this method must get const original value
    BAW repr(const BitArray ba) { return BAW(vluint(ba.length), cast(void[])ba.dup); }
    BitArray fromRepr(BAW w) { return BitArray(, w.bc); }

    long repr(const SysTime t) { return t.toUTC.stdTime; }
    SysTime fromRepr(long r) { return SysTime(r, UTC()); }

struct Foo
    string name;
    BitArray bits;
    SysTime tm;

auto foo = Foo("bar", BitArray([1,0,1]), Clock.currTime);

const foo_bytes = sbinSerialize!RH(foo);

auto foo2 = sbinDeserialize!(RH, Foo)(foo_bytes);

assert (foo == foo2);

You can combinate representation handlers in one struct:

    import std.sumtype;
    import std : Nullable, SysTime;

    static struct NullableAsSumTypeRH
        enum sbinReprHandler;
        alias ST = std.sumtype.SumType;

        auto repr(N)(in N n)
            if (is(N == Nullable!X, X))
            alias R = ST!(typeof(null), typeof(N.init.get));
            return n.isNull ? R(null) : R(n.get);

        auto fromRepr(N)(in N n)
            if (is(N == ST!X, X...) && X.length == 2 && is(X[0] == typeof(null)))
            alias X = N.Types;
            alias R = Nullable!(X[1]);
            return n.match!(
                (typeof(null) v) => R.init,
                v => R(v)

    static struct SysTimeAsLongRH
        enum sbinReprHandler;
        long repr(const SysTime t) { return t.toUTC.stdTime; }
        SysTime fromRepr(long r) { return SysTime(r, UTC()); }

    import sbin.repr;

    alias RH = CombineReprHandler!(SysTimeAsLongRH, NullableAsSumTypeRH);

    /+ same as
    static struct RH
        enum sbinReprHandler;

        alias repr = SysTimeAsLongRH.repr;
        alias fromRepr = SysTimeAsLongRH.fromRepr;

        alias repr = NullableAsSumTypeRH.repr;
        alias fromRepr = NullableAsSumTypeRH.fromRepr;

    alias NB = Nullable!ubyte;
    alias S = std.sumtype.SumType!(NB, SysTime);
    const val1 = [ S(NB.init), S(NB(11)), S(NB.init), S(NB(33)), S(SysTime(0)) ];
    const data = sbinSerialize!RH(val1);
    assert (data == [5, 0,0, 0,1,11, 0,0, 0,1,33, 1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]);
    const val2 = sbinDeserialize!(RH, S[])(data);
    assert (val1 == val2)

To avoid collisions recomends use type wrappers because of rulles of functions overloads:

    static struct RH
        enum sbinReprHandler;
        static struct SBinSysTime { long value; }
        SBinSysTime repr(const SysTime t) { return SBinSysTime(t.toUTC.stdTime); }
        SysTime fromRepr(SBinSysTime r) { return SysTime(r.value, UTC()); }

        static struct SBinFoo { long value; }
        SBinFoo repr(const Foo f) { return SBinFoo(f.getValue); }
        Foo fromRepr(SBinFoo f) { return Foo(f.value); }

See sbin.stdtypesrh for some basic handlers.


Unions (if used config allow-raw-unions)

Unions serializes/deserializes as static byte array without analyze elements (size of union is size of max element).

If you want use arrays or strings in unions you must implement custom [de]serialize methods or use tagged algebraic


Not supported. See Tagged algebraics if you need variablic types.


Can't automatic [de]serialize pointers data. For arrays use builtin arrays. For struct and class types see custom serialization.

Code versions

If you want use sbin for message passing between applications you must use strictly identical types (one source code), because struct fields are not marked (deserialization relies solely on information from type) and any change in code (swap fields, change fields type, change enum values list) must be accompanied by recompilation of all applications.

Immutable and const

Deserialize works after initialization of object and const or immutable fields are can't be setted.

Inderect fields

If struct have two arrays

struct Foo
    ubyte[] a, b;

and these arrays point to one memory

auto arr = cast(ubyte[])[1,2,3,4,5,6];
auto foo = Foo(arr, arr[0,2]);
assert (foo.a.ptr == foo.b.ptr);

then they will be serialized separated and after deserialize will be point to different memory parts

auto foo2 = foo.sbinSerialize.sbinDeserialize!Foo;
assert (foo2.a.ptr != foo.b.ptr);


Classes must have custom serialize methods, otherwise they can't be serialized.

class Foo
    ulong id;
    this(ulong v) { id = v; }

    ulong sbinCustomRepr() const @property
        return id;

    // must be static
    static Foo sbinFromCustomRepr(ulong v)
        return new Foo(v);
  • deviator
mir-core, sumtype, taggedalgebraic
0.10.0 2021-Sep-16
0.9.1 2021-Sep-02
0.9.0 2021-Aug-31
0.8.0 2021-Mar-19
0.7.1 2020-Dec-22
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