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Serialization code

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Figured it might be interesting to post my serialization related code with some explainations.

Documentation/assertions/error checking are removed and replaced with comments if necessary for this snipplet.

First the attribute which helps to identify which field to serialize and what name to serialize as.

public sealed class SerializeAsAttribute : Attribute {
public string NameToUse {
get { return name_; }

public SerializeAsAttribute(string name) {
name_ = name;

private readonly string name_;

Next up, the helper

public sealed class SerializationHelper {
internal struct MarkedField {
internal FieldInfo field_;
internal SerializeAsAttribute attribute_; // stored so that I don't have to do another runtime query on field.

private static MarkedField[] GetSerializableFields(ISerializable o) {
List list = new List();

Type t = o.GetType();
FieldInfo[] fields = t.GetFields(BindingFlags.Instance | BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.NonPublic);

foreach (FieldInfo field in fields) {
object[] attributes = field.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(SerializeAsAttribute), false);
if (attributes != null && attributes.Length > 0) {
MarkedField marked = new MarkedField();
marked.field_ = field;
marked.attribute_ = attributes[0] as SerializeAsAttribute;


return list.ToArray();

public static void Serialize(SerializationInfo info, ISerializable o) {
MarkedField[] fields = GetSerializableFields(o);

foreach (MarkedField field in fields) {
info.AddValue(field.attribute_.NameToUse, field.field_.GetValue(o));

public static void Deserialize(SerializationInfo info, ISerializable o) {
MarkedField[] fields = GetSerializableFields(o);

foreach (MarkedField field in fields) {
info.GetValue(field.attribute_.NameToUse, field.field_.FieldType));

And a sample usage

public sealed class TestObject : ISerializable {
#region ISerializable Members

public TestObject(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context) {
SerializationHelper.Deserialize(info, this);

public void GetObjectData(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context) {
SerializationHelper.Serialize(info, this);


public string Name;

public int Number;

public float RealNumber;

Now, probably the most interesting point to take note is that, i can set the values of private fields via runtime reflection. Bug/loophole, or feature? I'll leave that for the reader to decide.

PS. Reflection rocks!
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