A few days ago I decided it’d be really handy to have a tool which would take a description of a structure as it apears on disk/flash/network (I.E. packed, not necessarily aligned, perhaps wrong endianness, etc) and provide as output a C header file containing an appropriate struct definition for manipulating the data and a set of functions for packing and unpacking the data. The idea was to be a little more efficient than the utterly generic pack/unpack routines which are out there, but perhaps not as efficient as a custom packer/unpacker would be. Indeed the intention was also to be robust in the face of madness rather than quick but explosive.

I now have a fairly stream-of-consciousness set of notes about what I am calling Yue Fei for want of a better name. Yue Fei was one of the more famous chinese generals who held a rank similar to ‘Field Marshall’. Given the purpose of the program is to marshall fields of data, it seemed appropriate and also conveniently two syllables and easy to remember.

What I am after is comments and ideas. Anything from “Pah, your idea is already implemented <here>” through to “Here are some ideas to improve things” or “It won’t work unless you do <foo>”. Anything useful basically. If you care, you should know where to find me.

If enough people think it’s a good idea and worth having, I’ll start work on it fairly soon and create the usual software page on my website etc.

Please do have a read of the notes and let me know what you think.

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