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A common API for multiple serialization formats with support for custom classes

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Serialize: A common Python API for multiple serialization formats

There are multiple serialization formats out there …
… and great packages to use them.

But they all have a different API and switching among them is not so simple as it should be. Serialize helps you to do it, including dealing with custom classes. Let’s dump a dict using the pickle format:

>>> from serialize import dumps, loads
>>> dumps(dict(answer=42), fmt='pickle')
>>> loads(_, fmt='pickle')
{'answer': 42}

And here comes the cool thing, you can just change the serialization format without having to learn a new API. Let’s now dump it using msgpack:

>>> dumps(dict(answer=42), fmt='msgpack')
>>> loads(_, fmt='msgpack')
{'answer': 42}

Serialize currently support 8 different formats: bson, dill, json, msgpack, phpserialize, pickle, serpent and yaml. Serialize does not implement these formats but rather relies on established, well tested packages. If they are installed, serialize will use them.

** Serialize allows you to use them all with the same API! **

You can also use the dump and load to write directly to file-like object:

>>> from serialize import dump, load
>>> with open('output.yaml', 'wb') as fp:
...     dump(dict(answer=42), fp, fmt='yaml')
>>> with open('output.yaml', 'rb') as fp:
...     load(fp, fmt='yaml')
{'answer': 42}

or use directly the filename and the format will be inferred:

>>> dump(dict(answer=42), 'output.yaml')
>>> load('output.yaml')
{'answer': 42}

A very common case is to dump and load objects from custom classes such as:

>>> class User:
...     def __init__(self, name, age):
... = name
...         self.age = age
>>> john = User('John Smith', 27)

But some serialization packages do not support this important feature and the rest usually have very different API between them. Serialize provides you a common, simple interface for this. You just need to define a function that is able to convert the object to an instance of a builtin type and the converse:

>>> from serialize import register_class
>>> def user_to_builtin(u):
...     return (, u.age)
>>> def user_from_builtin(c):
...     return User(c[0], c[1])

>>> register_class(User, user_to_builtin, user_from_builtin)

And that’s all. You can then use it directly without any hassle:

>>> dumps(john, fmt='bson')
\x00John Smith\x00\x101\x00\x1b\x00\x00\x00\x00\x02__class_name__
\x00\x1c\x00\x00\x00<class '__main__.Username'>\x00\x00\x00"
>>> v = loads(_, fmt='bson')
'John Smith'
>>> v.age


Serialize is written and maintained by Hernan E. Grecco <>.

Serialize Changelog

0.1 (2016-01-28)

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