The current offerings (Thrift, ProtoBuffs, Avro, etc.) tend to have similar opinions about things like schema versioning, and very different opinions about things like wire format, protocol, performance tradeoffs, etc. Bond is essentially a serialization framework that keeps the schema logic stuff the same, but making the tasks like wire format, protocol, etc., highly customizable and pluggable. The idea being that instead of deciding ProtoBuffs isn’t right for you, and tearing it down and starting Thrift from scratch, you just change the parts that you don’t like, but keep the underlying schema logic the same.
In theory, this means one team can hand another team a Bond schema, and if they don’t like how it’s serialized, fine, just change the protocol, but the schema doesn’t need to.
The way this works, roughly, is as follows. For most serialization systems, the workflow is: (1) you declare a schema, and (2) they generate a bunch of files with source code to de/serialize data, which you can add to a project and compile into programs that need to call functions that serialize and deserialize data.
In Bond, you (1) declare a schema, and then (2) instead of generating source files, Bond will generate a de/serializer using the metaprogramming facilities of your chosen language. So customizing your serializer is a matter of using the Bond metaprogramming APIs change the de/serializer you’re generating.
It is interesting to think about how it might work, though...
If you want to follow up, I encourage you to email Adam (adamsap -at- microsoft) or you can ping me and I'll loop him in (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I'll put it bluntly: you have no idea what you're talking about.
Bond v1 was started when Thrift was not production ready. This is Bond v3. There is no conspiracy to make Bond hard to use for technology we "don't care about." In general I'm fine with tempered speculation, but your conclusion here is just lazy, and we both know it. It contributes nothing to the conversation, and spreads FUD for no good reason. We can do better, agree?
Now, to address your comments about customization directly: pluggable protocols are an example. The metaprogramming facilities of Bond are dramatically more rich than those of Thrift. A good example of these facilities: using the standard metaprogramming API and a bit of magic we have been able to trick Bond into serializing a different serialization system's schema types. So, picture Bond inspecting some C# Thrift type (or something), and then populating the core Bond data structures with data it finds there, and then serializing it to the wire.
This is the kind of power you get when you construct the serializer in memory using metaprogramming, and then expose that to the user. The flexibility is frankly unmatched.
> I'll put it bluntly: you have no idea what you're talking about. Bond v1 was started when Thrift was not production ready. This is Bond v3.
Let me put something bluntly. I don't care who started writing code first. Microsoft are well over half a decade late to the party. Thrift and Protobufs have been public domain since, what... 2007/8?
And frankly, at least on the C++ front, there's not much to get excited about with regard to metaprogramming here. The Avro C++ code generator already produces a small set of template specialisations for each record type, and they're trivial enough to write manually for any existing classes you wish to marshal against your schema. std namespace containers are already recognised through partial template specialisations. MsgPacks implementation also does this. Other more general metaprogramming solutions, like Boost Fusion, are also being used by many, in production, for completely bespoke marshalling.
Don't get me wrong, Bond looks really nice, particularly for C# programmers, and I have respect for the work being done, but I can't get excited about it. It's kind of like someone announcing yet another JSON library or some new web framework when what the industry needs is consensus on formats and APIs. Right now there are so many serialization frameworks that the de-facto standard will just continue to be schema-less JSON and robust tools will remain largely non-existent.
I hear you on the fragmentation. I know that this doesn't help the community as an explanation, but big companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft really have a good reasons to control such fundamental pieces of their infrastructure as serialization. Case in point: Facebook has forked their own Thrift project because, I presume, having it as Apache project was too restraining.
FWIW, we plan to develop Bond in public and accept contributions from the community.
> Let me put something bluntly. I don't care who started writing code first. Microsoft are well over half a decade late to the party. Thrift and Protobufs have been public domain since, what... 2007/8?
I think your technical complaints are almost all good and valid. I agree with essentially all of them. I don't want to fork Adam's sibling response here, so I'll leave it at that.
My point is that asserting that Bond was developed so that MSFT could purposefully ignore certain languages is pointedly wrong, and irresponsible considering the dearth of evidence you have to support it. And here you have 3 authoritative comments to say so. I don't understand how you can possibly disagree with this, or be upset that someone would take issue here. It's ok to be wrong.
Your characterization of Thrift is accurate and Bond actually has some of the same architectural roots as Thrift. Those features of Thrift were ones that I wanted to preserve in Bond. But we also wanted to expand that plugability to allow for even more flexibility than the core Thrift architecture would allow for -- for example, the ability to support Avro-like "untagged" protocols within the same framework. I believe that the core innovation is in how that gets implemented. Also, we believe that performance is a feature -- our testing has shown that Bond noticeably outperforms Thrift and Protocol Buffers in most cases.
There is no conspiracy or intent to "ignore languages" -- we will release additional languages as they are ready and as we can support them as first-class citizens. We also welcome community involvement.
"By design Bond is language and platform independent and is currently supported for C++, C#, and Python on Linux, OS X and Windows."
"language bindings - Thrift is supported in many languages and environments
We have support for a few more languages that we are using internally but after having a hard look at the implementations we decided that they weren't up to par for the open source release yet. I hope that we will release more soon. And needless to say, we are open to contributions from the community.