Serializing members using ToString / Parse

Sometimes types (classes or structs) don’t implement a proper serialization mechanism. If they support proper ToString(IFormatProvider) and Parse(string, IFormatProvider) methods, there is no need to create a custom SerializerModifier to serialize these types. To let the serializers take care of this automatically, at least one of the following options must be true:

  1. The member is decorated using the SerializeUsingParseAndToString attribute
  2. The container class has a SerializerModifier that returns true in the ShouldSerializeMemberUsingParse method

For example, the class below is an excellent usage example of when to use this technique:

    [Serializable, StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack = 1)]
    public struct Vector
        public double X;
        public double Y;
        public double Z;

        public Vector(double x, double y, double z)
            X = x;
            Y = y;
            Z = z;

        public string ToString(IFormatProvider formatProvider)
            return $"{X.ToString(formatProvider)} {Y.ToString(formatProvider)} {Z.ToString(formatProvider)}";

        public static Vector Parse(string value, IFormatProvider formatProvider)
            var splitted = value.Split(new[] { " " }, StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries);
            var x = double.Parse(splitted[0], formatProvider);
            var y = double.Parse(splitted[1], formatProvider);
            var z = double.Parse(splitted[2], formatProvider);

            var vector = new Vector(x, y, z);
            return vector;


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