I always get confused between “serialization” and “deserialization”. Perhaps, that is because I am trying to memorize what they are, and then trying to recall from memory. Of course, it’s sufficient to remember only one of them correctly.

So, here’s my trick that I am going to use from now on. It is derived from this Wikipedia article on the subject, in the Drawbacks section:

Serialization breaks the opacity of an abstract data type by potentially exposing private implementation details.

When I want to Store some data that we have in an application’s memory as an object of some abstract data type, we serialize it. For example, serializing a struct in Go to a JSON file on disk.

A reference from the Wikipedia article explains serialization in this manner:

It lets you take an object or group of objects, put them on a disk or send them through a wire or wireless transport mechanism, then later, perhaps on another computer, reverse the process: resurrect the original object(s). The basic mechanisms are to flatten object(s) into a one-dimensional stream of bits, and to turn that stream of bits back into the original object(s).

Like the Transporter on Star Trek, it’s all about taking something complicated and turning it into a flat sequence of 1s and 0s, then taking that sequence of 1s and 0s (possibly at another place, possibly at another time) and reconstructing the original complicated “something.”

So, the understanding I obtained based on reading the Wikipedia article and the above reference, I serialized it by writing this blog post. Or did I deserialize it? Who knows.