On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 9:05 PM, Michael Poole <mdpo...@troilus.org> wrote:

> If you serialize the elements inside the Bag to the disk individually,
> you could prefix them with a synchronizing marker and length.  A marker
> would typically be a fixed-length pattern that is unlikely to appear in
> legitimate data -- starting with a zero byte is a good way given
> Protocol Buffers data, it should contain some other (ideally uncommon)
> bytes for robustness.

I'd add that the marker should also contain some sort of checksum, e.g. CRC.
 Otherwise, you might not detect corruption when it happens.  It's very easy
for a corrupt message to still appear to parse correctly.  In an environment
where corruption is a concern, you definitely want to verify all data to
make sure you don't accidentally start using garbage!

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