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XTL in client-server apps

i'm about to use xtl for a small oo client-server app. i've got plenty
of questions. i suppose some answers are in the code but i'm not quite
fluent with templates yet.

1- are there any ways to infer the size of the serialized object prior
to externalization? in other words how can my server know about the
amount of data to receive?
2- for a given format, are there any conditions which would make this
size vary? 
3- what happens if some data missing when internalizing?
4- enum support?
5- which of xdr or giop is more compact?
6- any plans for xml?

thanks for your help,


Vincent Bonin                        e-mail:  vincent@ini.phys.ethz.ch
Institut fuer Neuroinformatik        tel.:    +41 1 635 3033
ETH / Universitaet Zuerich           fax:     +41 1 635 3053
Winterthurerstrasse 190, Haus 55     www:     www.ini.ethz.ch 
CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.