Interface SerializationInterface

All Known Implementing Classes:
ModulationType, PduElement, RadioEntityType

public interface SerializationInterface

Defines interface methods governing object serialization.

Don McGregor (
or locally: ~/mil/navy/nps/dis/
Hierarchy Diagram:
This interface defines the API for serialization of objects in a DIS format, which is not the format of the serialization interface of the core API.
The SerializationInterface defines the API that all objects that are "pieces" of a PDU must implement to be written out on the wire--serialization and deserialization. Note that the Java 1.1 API defines its own interface for serialization, and in an ideal world we'd be using that, rather than defining our own. But the Java serialization code wants to write things out in its own format, more or less untouched by human hands. That doesn't work very well in our situation, where we are trying to make things _exactly_ correspond to the defined format for the DIS protocol, which almost certainly are not java-based. Perhaps a better, but more wordy, term for this would be "SerializeObjectToDISFormat".


An interface defines a set of methods. Usually the set of methods is related to some operation, such as drag and drop--the class must implement several methods to fully implement the behavior, and the method definitions need to be consistent across every class that implements the behavior.

So what's the advantage to Interfaces over inheritence? After all, we might create an abstract class, and have all the classes that inherit from that class implement the set of methods defined in the interface. The advantage is that interfaces don't have to be applied to classes in the same class hierarchy. In our case, the serialization interface is defined, and both the PduElement class tree and the Unsigned number class tree implement the interface. These classes are related only in that they have a common ancestor, which we can't modify, and probably wouldn't want to anyway, since we would then have to implement the methods for every intermediate class. Java doesn't do multiple inheritence (thank the elder gods), so we can't do mix-ins.

By declaring that a class implements an interface, we can make compile-time checks to confirm that the class does indeed have the correct method prototypes. Interfaces are also useful for determining at runtime whether a class can perform the operations required to implement a behavior.

06Oct96 /Don McGregor /New
09Oct96 /Don McGregor /Changed name to SerializationInterface, added to package
17Oct96 /Don McGregor /Modified explanatory comments
10Mar97 /Don McGregor /Changes for javadoc
08Dec97 /Ronan Fauglas /Changes for documentation templates + complements in documentation
DIS-Java-VRML Working Group:
DIS Data Dictionary:
Latest DIS specification : IEEE 1278.1

Method Summary
 void deSerialize( outputStream)
          Reads an object in from DIS format.
 void serialize( outputStream)
          Writes an object out in DIS format.

Method Detail


public void serialize( outputStream)
Writes an object out in DIS format.


public void deSerialize( outputStream)
Reads an object in from DIS format.