package serde_xml

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XML format support for Serde


Dune Dependency






Published: 25 Aug 2023


A serialization framework for OCaml inspired by serde-rs.

The main goals for are:

  • Serialization -- take arbitary data structures from the user and turn them into specific formats with maximum efficiency.

  • Deserialization -- read arbitrary data that you parse into data structures of the user's choice with maximum efficiency.

type rank = Captain | Chief_petty_officer [@@deriving serializer, deserializer]
type t = { name : string; rank : rank } [@@deriving serializer, deserializer]

let obrien = { name = "Miles O'Brien"; rank = Chief_petty_officer }
let sisko = { name = "Benjamin Sisko"; rank = Captain }

> Serde_json.to_string_pretty (serialize_t) obrien
Ok "{ \"name\": \"Miles O'Brien\", \"rank\": \"Chief_petty_officer\" }"

> Serde_json.of_string (deserialize_t) "{ \"name\": \"Miles O'Brien\", \"rank\": \"Chief_petty_officer\" }"
Ok {name = "Miles O'Brien"; rank = Chief_petty_officer}

> Serde_sexpr.to_string_pretty (serialize_t) obrien;;
Ok "(\"Miles O'Brien\" :Chief_petty_officer)"

> Serde_sexpr.of_string (deserialize_t) "(\"Miles O'Brien\" :Chief_petty_officer)";;
Ok {name = "Miles O'Brien"; rank = Chief_petty_officer}


Set up the serde_derive ppx, and bring in any data format modules you want to use. Here we bring s-expressions and json.

 (name my_lib)
 (preprocess (pps serde_derive))
 (libraries serde serde_derive serde_sexpr serde_json))

Tag your data structures with deriving (serializer, deserializer).

open Serde

type t =
  | Hello
  | Tuple1 of string
  | Tuple2 of string * bool
  | Record3 of { name : string; favorite_number : int; location : string }
[@@deriving (serializer, deserializer)]

Now you have a serialize_{typeName} and deserialize_{typeName} functions that you can pass into the different data format modules.

To read data, use deserialize_t like this:

let sexpr = "(:Record3 (\"Benjamin Sisko\" 9 \"Bajor\"))" in
let* t = Serde_sexpr.of_string deserialize_t sexpr in
t = (Record3 { name = "Benjamin Sisko"; favorite_number = 9; location = "Bajor" })

To render data, use serialize_t like this:

let t = (Record3 { name = "Benjamin Sisko"; favorite_number = 9; location = "Bajor" }) in
let* sexpr = Serde_sexpr.to_string_pretty serialize_t t in
sexpr = "(:Record3 (\"Benjamin Sisko\" 9 \"Bajor\"))"

To transcode data across formats, switch the data module:

(* read sexpr *)
let sexpr = "(:Record3 (\"Benjamin Sisko\" 9 \"Bajor\"))" in
let* t = Serde_sexpr.of_string deserialize_t sexpr in
(* write json *)
let* json = Serde_json.to_string_pretty serialize_t t in
json = "{
  \"t#Record3\": {
    \"name\": \"Benjamin Sisko\",
    \"favorite_number\": 9,
    \"location\": \"Deep Space 9\"


Check the for a small guide on how to implement new data formats.

Advanced Use: Custom Serializer/Deserializer is capable of deriving the right serializer/deserializer for your types (and it if doesn't, that's a bug!) but in some cases you want to fit some external data format into an existing internal representation without having to add an extra layer.

In those cases, you can implement a Serde Visitor and customize absolutely everything about it. You can get started by using serde_derive and dune describe pp to expand the derivation. This will give you a solid starting point for your data type, where you can see how the generated Visitor drives the Deserializer by asking it to deserialize specific datatypes.

Dependencies (5)

  1. tyxml >= "4.5.0"
  2. serde_derive = version
  3. serde = version
  4. ocaml >= "4.14.0"
  5. dune >= "3.5"

Dev Dependencies (1)

  1. odoc with-doc

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