sandbox/morph / Doc / c-api / marshal.rst

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Data marshalling support

These routines allow C code to work with serialized objects using the same data format as the :mod:`marshal` module. There are functions to write data into the serialization format, and additional functions that can be used to read the data back. Files used to store marshalled data must be opened in binary mode.

Numeric values are stored with the least significant byte first.

The module supports two versions of the data format: version 0 is the historical version, version 1 (new in Python 2.4) shares interned strings in the file, and upon unmarshalling. Version 2 (new in Python 2.5) uses a binary format for floating point numbers. Py_MARSHAL_VERSION indicates the current file format (currently 2).

The following functions allow marshalled values to be read back in.

XXX What about error detection? It appears that reading past the end of the file will always result in a negative numeric value (where that's relevant), but it's not clear that negative values won't be handled properly when there's no error. What's the right way to tell? Should only non-negative values be written using these routines?