QuesoStruct 1.0.6

.NET 5.0
There is a newer version of this package available.
See the version list below for details.
dotnet add package QuesoStruct --version 1.0.6
NuGet\Install-Package QuesoStruct -Version 1.0.6
This command is intended to be used within the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, as it uses the NuGet module's version of Install-Package.
<PackageReference Include="QuesoStruct" Version="1.0.6" />
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add QuesoStruct --version 1.0.6
#r "nuget: QuesoStruct, 1.0.6"
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive and Polyglot Notebooks. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install QuesoStruct as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=QuesoStruct&version=1.0.6

// Install QuesoStruct as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=QuesoStruct&version=1.0.6

QuesoStruct 🧀

Boilerplate is out, and QuesoStruct is in! ¿Porque queso? ¡¿Porque no?! Me gusta queso😋

QuesoStruct is a pure C# .NET based source generation package that allows its users to instantly write binary serialization code for both reading and writing scenarios, complete with built-in support for data structures common to binary file formats including:

  • All C# .NET number primitives (except decimal!) in both little and big endian byte orders

  • Null terminating strings (with any encoding you choose via built in System.Text.Encodings)

  • Sequential/contiguous structure arrays (with customizable termination behavior i.e conditional per item, specific number of items, or until EOI)

  • Singly/doubly linked lists (implemented abstractly to support any kind of built-in or user created pointer type)

  • Structured data substreams (to wrap/expose certain sections of input data as a .NET Stream)

and an easy way to markup your classes and code to make the magic happen!

¿Que es eso? (What's the big idea?)

To best demonstrate the power of QuesoStruct, let's use a brief concrete code example to show you just how much you'll gain in both productivity and code quality by using the library!

Suppose you want to write a collection of binary formatted data structures to a file on the disk.

Each instance in the collection is laid out according to the following class definition:

public class MyStruct 
{ 
    public uint Id { get; set; }
    
    public float X { get; set; }
    public float Y { get; set; }
    public float Z { get; set; }
}

Now lets see a before and after!

Before using QuesoStruct (reading from a file):

/* below methods are defined somewhere in MyStruct class... */
public static MyStruct ReadInstance(BinaryReader reader) 
{
    var myInstance = new MyStruct
    {
        Id = reader.ReadUInt32(),
        
        X = reader.ReadSingle(),
        Y = reader.ReadSingle(),
        Z = reader.ReadSingle(),
    };
    
    return myInstance;
}

public static MyStruct[] ReadCollection(BinaryReader reader)
{
    var collection = new List<MyStruct>();
    
    while(true) 
    { 
    	try
	    {
            collection.Add(ReadInstance(reader));
    	} catch(EndOfStreamException) {
            break;
        }
    }
    
    return collection.ToArray();
}

/* ...then used wherever else to retrieve the instances from a Stream wrapped in a BinaryReader. */
using var file = File.OpenRead("my-file.bin");
using var reader = new BinaryReader(file);

var instances = MyStruct.ReadCollection(reader);
foreach(var instance in instances)
{
    Console.WriteLine($"Hello world from MyStruct with ID: {instance.Id}!");
}

After using QuesoStruct (same example):

MyStruct class code is slightly modified with annotations for the source generator:

using QuesoStruct;

[StructType]
public partial class MyStruct /* class is now marked as partial to insert QuesoStruct goodies! */
{ 
    [StructMember]
    public uint Id { get; set; }
    
    [StructMember]
    public float X { get; set; }
    
    [StructMember]
    public float Y { get; set; }
    
    [StructMember]
    public float Z { get; set; }
    
/* free to define other members (can be public, too) without the annotation so that they are not read or written. */
}

And then we just use the generated code! Note how now, the verbose BinaryReader boilerplate is nowhere to be seen! It has instead been replaced by very minimal API boilerplate for abstractly accessing and configuring the generated code for our use case.

using QuesoStruct;
using QuesoStruct.Types.Collections;
...
/* in Main method of Program.cs or something */
using var file = File.OpenRead("my-file.bin");

// Minimal boilerplate for accessing QuesoStruct API:
// 1. access generated code
var serializer = Serializers.Get<Collection<MyStruct>>();

// 2. wrap stream, configuring endianess and string encoding
var context = new Context(file, Context.SystemEndianess, Encoding.ASCII);

// 3. execute generated code!
var instances = serializer.Read(context);

// 4. inside "instances" is now a QuesoStruct Collection<MyStruct>. Use it like a IList<MyStruct>!!!
foreach(var instance in instances)
{
    Console.WriteLine($"Hello world from MyStruct with ID: {instance.Id}!");
}

In the "before example", imagine having to write code like that for several other classes, whose members might be many times more numerous! It'd be a spaghetti code nightmare!! QuesoStruct saves you the trouble so you can focus exclusively on your schema and processing.

How to get started?

We're on NuGet! Just copy and paste the following into your project file:

<PackageReference Include="QuesoStruct" Version="1.0.*" />

And you're ready to go! For more detailed information on how to use QuesoStruct to its fullest potential, see the repository wiki for up to date documentation.

Who uses QuesoStruct?

Currently, only me, haha. I plan to use this in many of my future reverse engineering projects, including StudSmelter, which is a successor to NuXtractor that has yet to be written (coming soon maybe?).

Do let me know if you plan to use QuesoStruct in your own project! I'd love to put together a "hall of fame" section for this document to let some obscure projects shine!

Questions?

If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to open an issue! My goal is to make this project as useful as possible to as many people as possible. Also don't hesitate to share any projects of yours that make use of QuesoStruct. Cheers!

Product Versions
.NET net5.0 net5.0-windows net6.0 net6.0-android net6.0-ios net6.0-maccatalyst net6.0-macos net6.0-tvos net6.0-windows net7.0 net7.0-android net7.0-ios net7.0-maccatalyst net7.0-macos net7.0-tvos net7.0-windows
Compatible target framework(s)
Additional computed target framework(s)
Learn more about Target Frameworks and .NET Standard.

NuGet packages

This package is not used by any NuGet packages.

GitHub repositories

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Version Downloads Last updated
1.0.11 309 5/1/2022
1.0.10 286 4/29/2022
1.0.9 299 7/26/2021
1.0.8 260 7/5/2021
1.0.7 263 7/4/2021
1.0.6 202 6/25/2021
1.0.5 211 6/24/2021
1.0.4 215 6/24/2021
1.0.3 239 6/24/2021
1.0.2 227 6/16/2021
1.0.1 225 6/14/2021
1.0.0 435 6/3/2021