The way this is handled in Scala-IO is via OutputConverters. If you are familiar with the type-class pattern then this should be very clear to you how this works. For a very quick introduction you can read: http://www.sidewayscoding.com/2011/01/introduction-to-type-classes-in-scala.html.
The clue is in the signature of write:
def write[T](data: T)(implicit writer: OutputConverter[T]): Unit
the last parameter is the object that defines how the object is serialized. The OutputConverter trait essentially converts and object into bytes and has a few built-in implementations in its companion object for objects like Int, Float, Byte, Char, etc...
Since the parameter is implicit the compiler will search for an implementation that satisfies the requirements (that the OutputConverter has the type parameter T). This allows:
import scalax.io._ val output:Output = Resource.fromFile("scala-io.out") output write 3 // and output write Seq(1,2,3) // one can be more explicit and declare the OutputConverter output.write(3)(OutputConverter.IntConverter)The last line in the example shows the explicit declaration of the OutputConverter to use when writing the data. This indicates how one can provide their own converter.
Since the parameter is implicit there are two ways that custom OutputConverters can be used.
- defining an implicit object for the object to be written. In this case all the possible ways implicits can be defined can be used. For example as an implicit value or in the companion object of the object to be written (serialized)
- Explicitly declare the converter to use at the method call site
First let's examine the use-case where the object is from a different library and therefore we cannot create a companion object for the object. The second case is where you are implementing the class and therefore can add a companion object:
For this next bit to work you need to paste it into a file and run that or use the paste mechanism of the REPL (type :paste into repl and press enter)