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@tbfleming tbfleming cleanup 2a2a1c9 Jul 2, 2019
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ABI 1.2: Sized Data in ABIs

Simple Summary

This proposal gives ABIs a way to describe sized data.


ABI 1.1 supports storing size-prefixed data in the string and bytes types, but doesn't provide a way to describe the contents of those types. Likewise, it supports a set of fixed-size types suitable for storing content (checksum160, checksum256, and checksum512), but doesn't provide a way to describe content or a way to choose other sizes. This proposal adds a way to describe the content of sized storage, and to specify arbitrary fixed sizes.



The new # type suffix describes sized data. It has two forms: # and #n, where n is an integer greater than 0. Type foo# has a varuint size prefix followed by the bytes of foo. Type foo#32 has the bytes of foo 0-padded to 32 bytes.


The CDT defines two new wrappers for sized data:

template<typename T>
struct sized_data {
    T value{};

template<typename T, int Size>
struct fixed_sized_data {
    T value{};

sized_data causes the CDT to serialize value as if the ABI type had a # suffix. It adds the suffix to the ABI. Likewise, fixed_sized_data causes the CDT to serialize value as if the ABI type had a #n suffix, where n=Size. It adds this suffix to the ABI.

Backwards Compatibility

ABI serializers which don't support 1.2 will error out when they encounter # in type names. Either they won't recognize the #, or they'll think it's part of a type name which isn't defined.

It's possible that some contract ABIs included # in their type names. ABI 1.2 serializers will malfunction with these.

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