The binary package

[Tags:benchmark, bsd3, library, test]

Efficient, pure binary serialisation using lazy ByteStrings. Haskell values may be encoded to and from binary formats, written to disk as binary, or sent over the network. Serialisation speeds of over 1 G/sec have been observed, so this library should be suitable for high performance scenarios.

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Versions 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.4.1, 0.4.2, 0.4.3,, 0.4.4, 0.4.5, 0.5,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, (info)
Dependencies array, base (>=3.0 && <4.8), bytestring (>=0.9), containers [details]
License BSD3
Author Lennart Kolmodin <>
Maintainer Lennart Kolmodin, Don Stewart <>
Category Data, Parsing
Home page
Source repository head: git clone git://
Uploaded Thu Sep 20 07:37:15 UTC 2012 by LennartKolmodin
Updated Sat Jan 10 12:48:38 UTC 2015 by HerbertValerioRiedel to revision 1
Distributions Arch:, Debian:, Fedora:, LTSHaskell:, NixOS:, Stackage:
Downloads 88102 total (3548 in the last 30 days)
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Status Docs uploaded by user
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Readme for binary

Readme for binary-

  binary: efficient, pure binary serialisation using lazy ByteStrings

The 'binary' package provides Data.Binary, containing the Binary class,
and associated methods, for serialising values to and from lazy

A key feature of 'binary' is that the interface is both pure, and efficient.

The 'binary' package is portable to GHC and Hugs.


    runhaskell Setup.lhs configure
    runhaskell Setup.lhs build
    runhaskell Setup.lhs install

    import Data.Binary

and then write an instance of Binary for the type you wish to serialise.
More information in the haddock documentation.


It is possible to mechanically derive new instances of Binary for your
types, if they support the Data and Typeable classes. A script is
provided in tools/derive. Here's an example of its use.

    $ cd binary 
    $ cd tools/derive 

    $ ghci -fglasgow-exts BinaryDerive.hs

    *BinaryDerive> :l Example.hs 

    *Main> deriveM (undefined :: Exp)

    instance Binary Main.Exp where
      put (ExpOr a b) = putWord8 0 >> put a >> put b
      put (ExpAnd a b) = putWord8 1 >> put a >> put b
      put (ExpEq a b) = putWord8 2 >> put a >> put b
      put (ExpNEq a b) = putWord8 3 >> put a >> put b
      put (ExpAdd a b) = putWord8 4 >> put a >> put b
      put (ExpSub a b) = putWord8 5 >> put a >> put b
      put (ExpVar a) = putWord8 6 >> put a
      put (ExpInt a) = putWord8 7 >> put a
      get = do
        tag_ <- getWord8
        case tag_ of
          0 -> get >>= \a -> get >>= \b -> return (ExpOr a b)
          1 -> get >>= \a -> get >>= \b -> return (ExpAnd a b)
          2 -> get >>= \a -> get >>= \b -> return (ExpEq a b)
          3 -> get >>= \a -> get >>= \b -> return (ExpNEq a b)
          4 -> get >>= \a -> get >>= \b -> return (ExpAdd a b)
          5 -> get >>= \a -> get >>= \b -> return (ExpSub a b)
          6 -> get >>= \a -> return (ExpVar a)
          7 -> get >>= \a -> return (ExpInt a)
          _ -> fail "no decoding"


    Lennart Kolmodin
    Duncan Coutts
    Don Stewart
    Spencer Janssen
    David Himmelstrup
    Björn Bringert
    Ross Paterson
    Einar Karttunen
    John Meacham
    Ulf Norell
    Tomasz Zielonka
    Stefan Karrmann
    Bryan O'Sullivan
    Florian Weimer