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Dealing with raw bytes is a pain, but there are a number of situations where it can be necessary:
- Interfacing with C libraries
- Communicating via custom network protocols
- Compressing data structures to their most compact representation
Gloss tries to make things simple, by automatically transforming a simple specification of a byte format into both an encoder and a streaming decoder. It is built into Aleph, where it can greatly simplify communicating via complex protocols.