CBOR::XS - Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR, RFC7049)

     use CBOR::XS;

     $binary_cbor_data = encode_cbor $perl_value;
     $perl_value       = decode_cbor $binary_cbor_data;

     # OO-interface

     $coder = CBOR::XS->new;
     $binary_cbor_data = $coder->encode ($perl_value);
     $perl_value       = $coder->decode ($binary_cbor_data);

     # prefix decoding

     my $many_cbor_strings = ...;
     while (length $many_cbor_strings) {
        my ($data, $length) = $cbor->decode_prefix ($many_cbor_strings);
        # data was decoded
        substr $many_cbor_strings, 0, $length, ""; # remove decoded cbor string

    This module converts Perl data structures to the Concise Binary Object
    Representation (CBOR) and vice versa. CBOR is a fast binary
    serialisation format that aims to use an (almost) superset of the JSON
    data model, i.e. when you can represent something useful in JSON, you
    should be able to represent it in CBOR.

    In short, CBOR is a faster and quite compact binary alternative to JSON,
    with the added ability of supporting serialisation of Perl objects.
    (JSON often compresses better than CBOR though, so if you plan to
    compress the data later and speed is less important you might want to
    compare both formats first).

    The primary goal of this module is to be *correct* and the secondary
    goal is to be *fast*. To reach the latter goal it was written in C.

    To give you a general idea about speed, with texts in the megabyte
    range, "CBOR::XS" usually encodes roughly twice as fast as Storable or
    JSON::XS and decodes about 15%-30% faster than those. The shorter the
    data, the worse Storable performs in comparison.

    Regarding compactness, "CBOR::XS"-encoded data structures are usually
    about 20% smaller than the same data encoded as (compact) JSON or

    In addition to the core CBOR data format, this module implements a
    number of extensions, to support cyclic and shared data structures (see
    "allow_sharing" and "allow_cycles"), string deduplication (see
    "pack_strings") and scalar references (always enabled).

    See MAPPING, below, on how CBOR::XS maps perl values to CBOR values and
    vice versa.

    The following convenience methods are provided by this module. They are
    exported by default:

    $cbor_data = encode_cbor $perl_scalar
        Converts the given Perl data structure to CBOR representation.
        Croaks on error.

    $perl_scalar = decode_cbor $cbor_data
        The opposite of "encode_cbor": expects a valid CBOR string to parse,
        returning the resulting perl scalar. Croaks on error.

    The object oriented interface lets you configure your own encoding or
    decoding style, within the limits of supported formats.

    $cbor = new CBOR::XS
        Creates a new CBOR::XS object that can be used to de/encode CBOR
        strings. All boolean flags described below are by default

        The mutators for flags all return the CBOR object again and thus
        calls can be chained:

           my $cbor = CBOR::XS->new->encode ({a => [1,2]});

    $cbor = new_safe CBOR::XS
        Create a new, safe/secure CBOR::XS object. This is similar to "new",
        but configures the coder object to be safe to use with untrusted
        data. Currently, this is equivalent to:

           my $cbor = CBOR::XS
              ->filter (\&CBOR::XS::safe_filter)
              ->max_size (1e8);

        But is more future proof (it is better to crash because of a change
        than to be exploited in other ways).

    $cbor = $cbor->max_depth ([$maximum_nesting_depth])
    $max_depth = $cbor->get_max_depth
        Sets the maximum nesting level (default 512) accepted while encoding
        or decoding. If a higher nesting level is detected in CBOR data or a
        Perl data structure, then the encoder and decoder will stop and
        croak at that point.

        Nesting level is defined by number of hash- or arrayrefs that the
        encoder needs to traverse to reach a given point or the number of
        "{" or "[" characters without their matching closing parenthesis
        crossed to reach a given character in a string.

        Setting the maximum depth to one disallows any nesting, so that
        ensures that the object is only a single hash/object or array.

        If no argument is given, the highest possible setting will be used,
        which is rarely useful.

        Note that nesting is implemented by recursion in C. The default
        value has been chosen to be as large as typical operating systems
        allow without crashing.

        See "SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS", below, for more info on why this is

    $cbor = $cbor->max_size ([$maximum_string_size])
    $max_size = $cbor->get_max_size
        Set the maximum length a CBOR string may have (in bytes) where
        decoding is being attempted. The default is 0, meaning no limit.
        When "decode" is called on a string that is longer then this many
        bytes, it will not attempt to decode the string but throw an
        exception. This setting has no effect on "encode" (yet).

        If no argument is given, the limit check will be deactivated (same
        as when 0 is specified).

        See "SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS", below, for more info on why this is

    $cbor = $cbor->allow_unknown ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_allow_unknown
        If $enable is true (or missing), then "encode" will *not* throw an
        exception when it encounters values it cannot represent in CBOR (for
        example, filehandles) but instead will encode a CBOR "error" value.

        If $enable is false (the default), then "encode" will throw an
        exception when it encounters anything it cannot encode as CBOR.

        This option does not affect "decode" in any way, and it is
        recommended to leave it off unless you know your communications

    $cbor = $cbor->allow_sharing ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_allow_sharing
        If $enable is true (or missing), then "encode" will not
        double-encode values that have been referenced before (e.g. when the
        same object, such as an array, is referenced multiple times), but
        instead will emit a reference to the earlier value.

        This means that such values will only be encoded once, and will not
        result in a deep cloning of the value on decode, in decoders
        supporting the value sharing extension. This also makes it possible
        to encode cyclic data structures (which need "allow_cycles" to be
        enabled to be decoded by this module).

        It is recommended to leave it off unless you know your communication
        partner supports the value sharing extensions to CBOR
        (<>), as without decoder
        support, the resulting data structure might be unusable.

        Detecting shared values incurs a runtime overhead when values are
        encoded that have a reference counter large than one, and might
        unnecessarily increase the encoded size, as potentially shared
        values are encoded as shareable whether or not they are actually

        At the moment, only targets of references can be shared (e.g.
        scalars, arrays or hashes pointed to by a reference). Weirder
        constructs, such as an array with multiple "copies" of the *same*
        string, which are hard but not impossible to create in Perl, are not
        supported (this is the same as with Storable).

        If $enable is false (the default), then "encode" will encode shared
        data structures repeatedly, unsharing them in the process. Cyclic
        data structures cannot be encoded in this mode.

        This option does not affect "decode" in any way - shared values and
        references will always be decoded properly if present.

    $cbor = $cbor->allow_cycles ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_allow_cycles
        If $enable is true (or missing), then "decode" will happily decode
        self-referential (cyclic) data structures. By default these will not
        be decoded, as they need manual cleanup to avoid memory leaks, so
        code that isn't prepared for this will not leak memory.

        If $enable is false (the default), then "decode" will throw an error
        when it encounters a self-referential/cyclic data structure.

        FUTURE DIRECTION: the motivation behind this option is to avoid
        *real* cycles - future versions of this module might chose to decode
        cyclic data structures using weak references when this option is
        off, instead of throwing an error.

        This option does not affect "encode" in any way - shared values and
        references will always be encoded properly if present.

    $cbor = $cbor->forbid_objects ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_forbid_objects
        Disables the use of the object serialiser protocol.

        If $enable is true (or missing), then "encode" will will throw an
        exception when it encounters perl objects that would be encoded
        using the perl-object tag (26). When "decode" encounters such tags,
        it will fall back to the general filter/tagged logic as if this were
        an unknown tag (by default resulting in a "CBOR::XC::Tagged"

        If $enable is false (the default), then "encode" will use the
        Types::Serialiser object serialisation protocol to serialise objects
        into perl-object tags, and "decode" will do the same to decode such

        See "SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS", below, for more info on why
        forbidding this protocol can be useful.

    $cbor = $cbor->pack_strings ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_pack_strings
        If $enable is true (or missing), then "encode" will try not to
        encode the same string twice, but will instead encode a reference to
        the string instead. Depending on your data format, this can save a
        lot of space, but also results in a very large runtime overhead
        (expect encoding times to be 2-4 times as high as without).

        It is recommended to leave it off unless you know your
        communications partner supports the stringref extension to CBOR
        (<>), as without decoder support,
        the resulting data structure might not be usable.

        If $enable is false (the default), then "encode" will encode strings
        the standard CBOR way.

        This option does not affect "decode" in any way - string references
        will always be decoded properly if present.

    $cbor = $cbor->text_keys ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_text_keys
        If $enabled is true (or missing), then "encode" will encode all perl
        hash keys as CBOR text strings/UTF-8 string, upgrading them as

        If $enable is false (the default), then "encode" will encode hash
        keys normally - upgraded perl strings (strings internally encoded as
        UTF-8) as CBOR text strings, and downgraded perl strings as CBOR
        byte strings.

        This option does not affect "decode" in any way.

        This option is useful for interoperability with CBOR decoders that
        don't treat byte strings as a form of text. It is especially useful
        as Perl gives very little control over hash keys.

        Enabling this option can be slow, as all downgraded hash keys that
        are encoded need to be scanned and converted to UTF-8.

    $cbor = $cbor->text_strings ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_text_strings
        This option works similar to "text_keys", above, but works on all
        strings (including hash keys), so "text_keys" has no further effect
        after enabling "text_strings".

        If $enabled is true (or missing), then "encode" will encode all perl
        strings as CBOR text strings/UTF-8 strings, upgrading them as

        If $enable is false (the default), then "encode" will encode strings
        normally (but see "text_keys") - upgraded perl strings (strings
        internally encoded as UTF-8) as CBOR text strings, and downgraded
        perl strings as CBOR byte strings.

        This option does not affect "decode" in any way.

        This option has similar advantages and disadvantages as "text_keys".
        In addition, this option effectively removes the ability to
        automatically encode byte strings, which might break some "FREEZE"
        and "TO_CBOR" methods that rely on this.

        A workaround is to use explicit type casts, which are unaffected by
        this option.

    $cbor = $cbor->validate_utf8 ([$enable])
    $enabled = $cbor->get_validate_utf8
        If $enable is true (or missing), then "decode" will validate that
        elements (text strings) containing UTF-8 data in fact contain valid
        UTF-8 data (instead of blindly accepting it). This validation
        obviously takes extra time during decoding.

        The concept of "valid UTF-8" used is perl's concept, which is a
        superset of the official UTF-8.

        If $enable is false (the default), then "decode" will blindly accept
        UTF-8 data, marking them as valid UTF-8 in the resulting data
        structure regardless of whether that's true or not.

        Perl isn't too happy about corrupted UTF-8 in strings, but should
        generally not crash or do similarly evil things. Extensions might be
        not so forgiving, so it's recommended to turn on this setting if you
        receive untrusted CBOR.

        This option does not affect "encode" in any way - strings that are
        supposedly valid UTF-8 will simply be dumped into the resulting CBOR
        string without checking whether that is, in fact, true or not.

    $cbor = $cbor->filter ([$cb->($tag, $value)])
    $cb_or_undef = $cbor->get_filter
        Sets or replaces the tagged value decoding filter (when $cb is
        specified) or clears the filter (if no argument or "undef" is

        The filter callback is called only during decoding, when a
        non-enforced tagged value has been decoded (see "TAG HANDLING AND
        EXTENSIONS" for a list of enforced tags). For specific tags, it's
        often better to provide a default converter using the
        %CBOR::XS::FILTER hash (see below).

        The first argument is the numerical tag, the second is the (decoded)
        value that has been tagged.

        The filter function should return either exactly one value, which
        will replace the tagged value in the decoded data structure, or no
        values, which will result in default handling, which currently means
        the decoder creates a "CBOR::XS::Tagged" object to hold the tag and
        the value.

        When the filter is cleared (the default state), the default filter
        function, "CBOR::XS::default_filter", is used. This function simply
        looks up the tag in the %CBOR::XS::FILTER hash. If an entry exists
        it must be a code reference that is called with tag and value, and
        is responsible for decoding the value. If no entry exists, it
        returns no values. "CBOR::XS" provides a number of default filter
        functions already, the the %CBOR::XS::FILTER hash can be freely
        extended with more.

        "CBOR::XS" additionally provides an alternative filter function that
        is supposed to be safe to use with untrusted data (which the default
        filter might not), called "CBOR::XS::safe_filter", which works the
        same as the "default_filter" but uses the %CBOR::XS::SAFE_FILTER
        variable instead. It is prepopulated with the tag decoding functions
        that are deemed safe (basically the same as %CBOR::XS::FILTER
        without all the bignum tags), and can be extended by user code as
        wlel, although, obviously, one should be very careful about adding
        decoding functions here, since the expectation is that they are safe
        to use on untrusted data, after all.

        Example: decode all tags not handled internally into
        "CBOR::XS::Tagged" objects, with no other special handling (useful
        when working with potentially "unsafe" CBOR data).

           CBOR::XS->new->filter (sub { })->decode ($cbor_data);

        Example: provide a global filter for tag 1347375694, converting the
        value into some string form.

           $CBOR::XS::FILTER{1347375694} = sub {
              my ($tag, $value);

              "tag 1347375694 value $value"

        Example: provide your own filter function that looks up tags in your
        own hash:

           my %my_filter = (
              998347484 => sub {
                 my ($tag, $value);

                 "tag 998347484 value $value"

           my $coder = CBOR::XS->new->filter (sub {
              &{ $my_filter{$_[0]} or return }

        Example: use the safe filter function (see "SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS"
        for more considerations on security).

           CBOR::XS->new->filter (\&CBOR::XS::safe_filter)->decode ($cbor_data);

    $cbor_data = $cbor->encode ($perl_scalar)
        Converts the given Perl data structure (a scalar value) to its CBOR

    $perl_scalar = $cbor->decode ($cbor_data)
        The opposite of "encode": expects CBOR data and tries to parse it,
        returning the resulting simple scalar or reference. Croaks on error.

    ($perl_scalar, $octets) = $cbor->decode_prefix ($cbor_data)
        This works like the "decode" method, but instead of raising an
        exception when there is trailing garbage after the CBOR string, it
        will silently stop parsing there and return the number of characters
        consumed so far.

        This is useful if your CBOR texts are not delimited by an outer
        protocol and you need to know where the first CBOR string ends amd
        the next one starts - CBOR strings are self-delimited, so it is
        possible to concatenate CBOR strings without any delimiters or size
        fields and recover their data.

           CBOR::XS->new->decode_prefix ("......")
           => ("...", 3)

    In some cases, there is the need for incremental parsing of JSON texts.
    While this module always has to keep both CBOR text and resulting Perl
    data structure in memory at one time, it does allow you to parse a CBOR
    stream incrementally, using a similar to using "decode_prefix" to see if
    a full CBOR object is available, but is much more efficient.

    It basically works by parsing as much of a CBOR string as possible - if
    the CBOR data is not complete yet, the pasrer will remember where it
    was, to be able to restart when more data has been accumulated. Once
    enough data is available to either decode a complete CBOR value or raise
    an error, a real decode will be attempted.

    A typical use case would be a network protocol that consists of sending
    and receiving CBOR-encoded messages. The solution that works with CBOR
    and about anything else is by prepending a length to every CBOR value,
    so the receiver knows how many octets to read. More compact (and
    slightly slower) would be to just send CBOR values back-to-back, as
    "CBOR::XS" knows where a CBOR value ends, and doesn't need an explicit

    The following methods help with this:

    @decoded = $cbor->incr_parse ($buffer)
        This method attempts to decode exactly one CBOR value from the
        beginning of the given $buffer. The value is removed from the
        $buffer on success. When $buffer doesn't contain a complete value
        yet, it returns nothing. Finally, when the $buffer doesn't start
        with something that could ever be a valid CBOR value, it raises an
        exception, just as "decode" would. In the latter case the decoder
        state is undefined and must be reset before being able to parse

        This method modifies the $buffer in place. When no CBOR value can be
        decoded, the decoder stores the current string offset. On the next
        call, continues decoding at the place where it stopped before. For
        this to make sense, the $buffer must begin with the same octets as
        on previous unsuccessful calls.

        You can call this method in scalar context, in which case it either
        returns a decoded value or "undef". This makes it impossible to
        distinguish between CBOR null values (which decode to "undef") and
        an unsuccessful decode, which is often acceptable.

    @decoded = $cbor->incr_parse_multiple ($buffer)
        Same as "incr_parse", but attempts to decode as many CBOR values as
        possible in one go, instead of at most one. Calls to "incr_parse"
        and "incr_parse_multiple" can be interleaved.

        Resets the incremental decoder. This throws away any saved state, so
        that subsequent calls to "incr_parse" or "incr_parse_multiple" start
        to parse a new CBOR value from the beginning of the $buffer again.

        This method can be called at any time, but it *must* be called if
        you want to change your $buffer or there was a decoding error and
        you want to reuse the $cbor object for future incremental parsings.

    This section describes how CBOR::XS maps Perl values to CBOR values and
    vice versa. These mappings are designed to "do the right thing" in most
    circumstances automatically, preserving round-tripping characteristics
    (what you put in comes out as something equivalent).

    For the more enlightened: note that in the following descriptions,
    lowercase *perl* refers to the Perl interpreter, while uppercase *Perl*
    refers to the abstract Perl language itself.

        CBOR integers become (numeric) perl scalars. On perls without 64 bit
        support, 64 bit integers will be truncated or otherwise corrupted.

    byte strings
        Byte strings will become octet strings in Perl (the Byte values
        0..255 will simply become characters of the same value in Perl).

    UTF-8 strings
        UTF-8 strings in CBOR will be decoded, i.e. the UTF-8 octets will be
        decoded into proper Unicode code points. At the moment, the validity
        of the UTF-8 octets will not be validated - corrupt input will
        result in corrupted Perl strings.

    arrays, maps
        CBOR arrays and CBOR maps will be converted into references to a
        Perl array or hash, respectively. The keys of the map will be
        stringified during this process.

        CBOR null becomes "undef" in Perl.

    true, false, undefined
        These CBOR values become "Types:Serialiser::true",
        "Types:Serialiser::false" and "Types::Serialiser::error",
        respectively. They are overloaded to act almost exactly like the
        numbers 1 and 0 (for true and false) or to throw an exception on
        access (for error). See the Types::Serialiser manpage for details.

    tagged values
        Tagged items consists of a numeric tag and another CBOR value.

        See "TAG HANDLING AND EXTENSIONS" and the description of "->filter"
        for details on which tags are handled how.

    anything else
        Anything else (e.g. unsupported simple values) will raise a decoding

    The mapping from Perl to CBOR is slightly more difficult, as Perl is a
    typeless language. That means this module can only guess which CBOR type
    is meant by a perl value.

    hash references
        Perl hash references become CBOR maps. As there is no inherent
        ordering in hash keys (or CBOR maps), they will usually be encoded
        in a pseudo-random order. This order can be different each time a
        hash is encoded.

        Currently, tied hashes will use the indefinite-length format, while
        normal hashes will use the fixed-length format.

    array references
        Perl array references become fixed-length CBOR arrays.

    other references
        Other unblessed references will be represented using the indirection
        tag extension (tag value 22098,
        <>). CBOR decoders are guaranteed
        to be able to decode these values somehow, by either "doing the
        right thing", decoding into a generic tagged object, simply ignoring
        the tag, or something else.

    CBOR::XS::Tagged objects
        Objects of this type must be arrays consisting of a single "[tag,
        value]" pair. The (numerical) tag will be encoded as a CBOR tag, the
        value will be encoded as appropriate for the value. You must use
        "CBOR::XS::tag" to create such objects.

    Types::Serialiser::true, Types::Serialiser::false,
        These special values become CBOR true, CBOR false and CBOR undefined
        values, respectively. You can also use "\1", "\0" and "\undef"
        directly if you want.

    other blessed objects
        Other blessed objects are serialised via "TO_CBOR" or "FREEZE". See
        "TAG HANDLING AND EXTENSIONS" for specific classes handled by this
        module, and "OBJECT SERIALISATION" for generic object serialisation.

    simple scalars
        Simple Perl scalars (any scalar that is not a reference) are the
        most difficult objects to encode: CBOR::XS will encode undefined
        scalars as CBOR null values, scalars that have last been used in a
        string context before encoding as CBOR strings, and anything else as
        number value:

           # dump as number
           encode_cbor [2]                      # yields [2]
           encode_cbor [-3.0e17]                # yields [-3e+17]
           my $value = 5; encode_cbor [$value]  # yields [5]

           # used as string, so dump as string (either byte or text)
           print $value;
           encode_cbor [$value]                 # yields ["5"]

           # undef becomes null
           encode_cbor [undef]                  # yields [null]

        You can force the type to be a CBOR string by stringifying it:

           my $x = 3.1; # some variable containing a number
           "$x";        # stringified
           $x .= "";    # another, more awkward way to stringify
           print $x;    # perl does it for you, too, quite often

        You can force whether a string is encoded as byte or text string by
        using "utf8::upgrade" and "utf8::downgrade" (if "text_strings" is

          utf8::upgrade $x;   # encode $x as text string
          utf8::downgrade $x; # encode $x as byte string

        More options are available, see "TYPE CASTS", below, and the
        "text_keys" and "text_strings" options.

        Perl doesn't define what operations up- and downgrade strings, so if
        the difference between byte and text is important, you should up- or
        downgrade your string as late as possible before encoding. You can
        also force the use of CBOR text strings by using "text_keys" or

        You can force the type to be a CBOR number by numifying it:

           my $x = "3"; # some variable containing a string
           $x += 0;     # numify it, ensuring it will be dumped as a number
           $x *= 1;     # same thing, the choice is yours.

        You can not currently force the type in other, less obscure, ways.
        Tell me if you need this capability (but don't forget to explain why
        it's needed :).

        Perl values that seem to be integers generally use the shortest
        possible representation. Floating-point values will use either the
        IEEE single format if possible without loss of precision, otherwise
        the IEEE double format will be used. Perls that use formats other
        than IEEE double to represent numerical values are supported, but
        might suffer loss of precision.

    EXPERIMENTAL: As an experimental extension, "CBOR::XS" allows you to
    force specific CBOR types to be used when encoding. That allows you to
    encode types not normally accessible (e.g. half floats) as well as force
    string types even when "text_strings" is in effect.

    Type forcing is done by calling a special "cast" function which keeps a
    copy of the value and returns a new value that can be handed over to any
    CBOR encoder function.

    The following casts are currently available (all of which are unary
    operators, that is, have a prototype of "$"):

    CBOR::XS::as_int $value
        Forces the value to be encoded as some form of (basic, not bignum)
        integer type.

    CBOR::XS::as_text $value
        Forces the value to be encoded as (UTF-8) text values.

    CBOR::XS::as_bytes $value
        Forces the value to be encoded as a (binary) string value.

        Example: encode a perl string as binary even though "text_strings"
        is in effect.

           CBOR::XS->new->text_strings->encode ([4, "text", CBOR::XS::bytes "bytevalue"]);

    CBOR::XS::as_bool $value
        Converts a Perl boolean (which can be any kind of scalar) into a
        CBOR boolean. Strictly the same, but shorter to write, than:

           $value ? Types::Serialiser::true : Types::Serialiser::false

    CBOR::XS::as_float16 $value
        Forces half-float (IEEE 754 binary16) encoding of the given value.

    CBOR::XS::as_float32 $value
        Forces single-float (IEEE 754 binary32) encoding of the given value.

    CBOR::XS::as_float64 $value
        Forces double-float (IEEE 754 binary64) encoding of the given value.

    CBOR::XS::as_cbor $cbor_text
        Not a type cast per-se, this type cast forces the argument to be
        encoded as-is. This can be used to embed pre-encoded CBOR data.

        Note that no checking on the validity of the $cbor_text is done -
        it's the callers responsibility to correctly encode values.

    CBOR::XS::as_map [key => value...]
        Treat the array reference as key value pairs and output a CBOR map.
        This allows you to generate CBOR maps with arbitrary key types (or,
        if you don't care about semantics, duplicate keys or pairs in a
        custom order), which is otherwise hard to do with Perl.

        The single argument must be an array reference with an even number
        of elements.

        Note that only the reference to the array is copied, the array
        itself is not. Modifications done to the array before calling an
        encoding function will be reflected in the encoded output.

        Example: encode a CBOR map with a string and an integer as keys.

           encode_cbor CBOR::XS::as_map [string => "value", 5 => "value"]

    This module implements both a CBOR-specific and the generic
    Types::Serialier object serialisation protocol. The following
    subsections explain both methods.

    This module knows two way to serialise a Perl object: The CBOR-specific
    way, and the generic way.

    Whenever the encoder encounters a Perl object that it cannot serialise
    directly (most of them), it will first look up the "TO_CBOR" method on

    If it has a "TO_CBOR" method, it will call it with the object as only
    argument, and expects exactly one return value, which it will then
    substitute and encode it in the place of the object.

    Otherwise, it will look up the "FREEZE" method. If it exists, it will
    call it with the object as first argument, and the constant string
    "CBOR" as the second argument, to distinguish it from other serialisers.

    The "FREEZE" method can return any number of values (i.e. zero or more).
    These will be encoded as CBOR perl object, together with the classname.

    These methods *MUST NOT* change the data structure that is being
    serialised. Failure to comply to this can result in memory corruption -
    and worse.

    If an object supports neither "TO_CBOR" nor "FREEZE", encoding will fail
    with an error.

    Objects encoded via "TO_CBOR" cannot (normally) be automatically
    decoded, but objects encoded via "FREEZE" can be decoded using the
    following protocol:

    When an encoded CBOR perl object is encountered by the decoder, it will
    look up the "THAW" method, by using the stored classname, and will fail
    if the method cannot be found.

    After the lookup it will call the "THAW" method with the stored
    classname as first argument, the constant string "CBOR" as second
    argument, and all values returned by "FREEZE" as remaining arguments.

    Here is an example "TO_CBOR" method:

       sub My::Object::TO_CBOR {
          my ($obj) = @_;

          ["this is a serialised My::Object object", $obj->{id}]

    When a "My::Object" is encoded to CBOR, it will instead encode a simple
    array with two members: a string, and the "object id". Decoding this
    CBOR string will yield a normal perl array reference in place of the

    A more useful and practical example would be a serialisation method for
    the URI module. CBOR has a custom tag value for URIs, namely 32:

      sub URI::TO_CBOR {
         my ($self) = @_;
         my $uri = "$self"; # stringify uri
         utf8::upgrade $uri; # make sure it will be encoded as UTF-8 string
         CBOR::XS::tag 32, "$_[0]"

    This will encode URIs as a UTF-8 string with tag 32, which indicates an

    Decoding such an URI will not (currently) give you an URI object, but
    instead a CBOR::XS::Tagged object with tag number 32 and the string -
    exactly what was returned by "TO_CBOR".

    To serialise an object so it can automatically be deserialised, you need
    to use "FREEZE" and "THAW". To take the URI module as example, this
    would be a possible implementation:

       sub URI::FREEZE {
          my ($self, $serialiser) = @_;
          "$self" # encode url string

       sub URI::THAW {
          my ($class, $serialiser, $uri) = @_;
          $class->new ($uri)

    Unlike "TO_CBOR", multiple values can be returned by "FREEZE". For
    example, a "FREEZE" method that returns "type", "id" and "variant"
    values would cause an invocation of "THAW" with 5 arguments:

       sub My::Object::FREEZE {
          my ($self, $serialiser) = @_;

          ($self->{type}, $self->{id}, $self->{variant})

       sub My::Object::THAW {
          my ($class, $serialiser, $type, $id, $variant) = @_;

          $class-<new (type => $type, id => $id, variant => $variant)

    There is no way to distinguish CBOR from other formats programmatically.
    To make it easier to distinguish CBOR from other formats, the CBOR
    specification has a special "magic string" that can be prepended to any
    CBOR string without changing its meaning.

    This string is available as $CBOR::XS::MAGIC. This module does not
    prepend this string to the CBOR data it generates, but it will ignore it
    if present, so users can prepend this string as a "file type" indicator
    as required.

    CBOR has the concept of tagged values - any CBOR value can be tagged
    with a numeric 64 bit number, which are centrally administered.

    "CBOR::XS" handles a few tags internally when en- or decoding. You can
    also create tags yourself by encoding "CBOR::XS::Tagged" objects, and
    the decoder will create "CBOR::XS::Tagged" objects itself when it hits
    an unknown tag.

    These objects are simply blessed array references - the first member of
    the array being the numerical tag, the second being the value.

    You can interact with "CBOR::XS::Tagged" objects in the following ways:

    $tagged = CBOR::XS::tag $tag, $value
        This function(!) creates a new "CBOR::XS::Tagged" object using the
        given $tag (0..2**64-1) to tag the given $value (which can be any
        Perl value that can be encoded in CBOR, including serialisable Perl
        objects and "CBOR::XS::Tagged" objects).

    $tagged->[0] = $new_tag
    $tag = $tagged->tag
    $new_tag = $tagged->tag ($new_tag)
        Access/mutate the tag.

    $tagged->[1] = $new_value
    $value = $tagged->value
    $new_value = $tagged->value ($new_value)
        Access/mutate the tagged value.

    Here are some examples of "CBOR::XS::Tagged" uses to tag objects.

    You can look up CBOR tag value and emanings in the IANA registry at

    Prepend a magic header ($CBOR::XS::MAGIC):

       my $cbor = encode_cbor CBOR::XS::tag 55799, $value;
       # same as:
       my $cbor = $CBOR::XS::MAGIC . encode_cbor $value;

    Serialise some URIs and a regex in an array:

       my $cbor = encode_cbor [
          (CBOR::XS::tag 32, ""),
          (CBOR::XS::tag 32, ""),
          (CBOR::XS::tag 35, "^[Pp][Ee][Rr][lL]\$"),

    Wrap CBOR data in CBOR:

       my $cbor_cbor = encode_cbor
          CBOR::XS::tag 24,
             encode_cbor [1, 2, 3];

    This section describes how this module handles specific tagged values
    and extensions. If a tag is not mentioned here and no additional filters
    are provided for it, then the default handling applies (creating a
    CBOR::XS::Tagged object on decoding, and only encoding the tag when
    explicitly requested).

    Tags not handled specifically are currently converted into a
    CBOR::XS::Tagged object, which is simply a blessed array reference
    consisting of the numeric tag value followed by the (decoded) CBOR

    Future versions of this module reserve the right to special case
    additional tags (such as base64url).

    These tags are always handled when decoding, and their handling cannot
    be overridden by the user.

    26 (perl-object, <>)
        These tags are automatically created (and decoded) for serialisable
        objects using the "FREEZE/THAW" methods (the Types::Serialier object
        serialisation protocol). See "OBJECT SERIALISATION" for details.

    28, 29 (shareable, sharedref, <>)
        These tags are automatically decoded when encountered (and they do
        not result in a cyclic data structure, see "allow_cycles"),
        resulting in shared values in the decoded object. They are only
        encoded, however, when "allow_sharing" is enabled.

        Not all shared values can be successfully decoded: values that
        reference themselves will *currently* decode as "undef" (this is not
        the same as a reference pointing to itself, which will be
        represented as a value that contains an indirect reference to itself
        - these will be decoded properly).

        Note that considerably more shared value data structures can be
        decoded than will be encoded - currently, only values pointed to by
        references will be shared, others will not. While non-reference
        shared values can be generated in Perl with some effort, they were
        considered too unimportant to be supported in the encoder. The
        decoder, however, will decode these values as shared values.

    256, 25 (stringref-namespace, stringref,
        These tags are automatically decoded when encountered. They are only
        encoded, however, when "pack_strings" is enabled.

    22098 (indirection, <>)
        This tag is automatically generated when a reference are encountered
        (with the exception of hash and array references). It is converted
        to a reference when decoding.

    55799 (self-describe CBOR, RFC 7049)
        This value is not generated on encoding (unless explicitly requested
        by the user), and is simply ignored when decoding.

    These tags have default filters provided when decoding. Their handling
    can be overridden by changing the %CBOR::XS::FILTER entry for the tag,
    or by providing a custom "filter" callback when decoding.

    When they result in decoding into a specific Perl class, the module
    usually provides a corresponding "TO_CBOR" method as well.

    When any of these need to load additional modules that are not part of
    the perl core distribution (e.g. URI), it is (currently) up to the user
    to provide these modules. The decoding usually fails with an exception
    if the required module cannot be loaded.

    0, 1 (date/time string, seconds since the epoch)
        These tags are decoded into Time::Piece objects. The corresponding
        "Time::Piece::TO_CBOR" method always encodes into tag 1 values

        The Time::Piece API is generally surprisingly bad, and fractional
        seconds are only accidentally kept intact, so watch out. On the plus
        side, the module comes with perl since 5.10, which has to count for

    2, 3 (positive/negative bignum)
        These tags are decoded into Math::BigInt objects. The corresponding
        "Math::BigInt::TO_CBOR" method encodes "small" bigints into normal
        CBOR integers, and others into positive/negative CBOR bignums.

    4, 5, 264, 265 (decimal fraction/bigfloat)
        Both decimal fractions and bigfloats are decoded into Math::BigFloat
        objects. The corresponding "Math::BigFloat::TO_CBOR" method *always*
        encodes into a decimal fraction (either tag 4 or 264).

        NaN and infinities are not encoded properly, as they cannot be
        represented in CBOR.

        See "BIGNUM SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS" for more info.

    30 (rational numbers)
        These tags are decoded into Math::BigRat objects. The corresponding
        "Math::BigRat::TO_CBOR" method encodes rational numbers with
        denominator 1 via their numerator only, i.e., they become normal
        integers or "bignums".

        See "BIGNUM SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS" for more info.

    21, 22, 23 (expected later JSON conversion)
        CBOR::XS is not a CBOR-to-JSON converter, and will simply ignore
        these tags.

    32 (URI)
        These objects decode into URI objects. The corresponding
        "URI::TO_CBOR" method again results in a CBOR URI value.

    CBOR is supposed to implement a superset of the JSON data model, and is,
    with some coercion, able to represent all JSON texts (something that
    other "binary JSON" formats such as BSON generally do not support).

    CBOR implements some extra hints and support for JSON interoperability,
    and the spec offers further guidance for conversion between CBOR and
    JSON. None of this is currently implemented in CBOR, and the guidelines
    in the spec do not result in correct round-tripping of data. If JSON
    interoperability is improved in the future, then the goal will be to
    ensure that decoded JSON data will round-trip encoding and decoding to
    CBOR intact.

    Tl;dr... if you want to decode or encode CBOR from untrusted sources,
    you should start with a coder object created via "new_safe" (which
    implements the mitigations explained below):

       my $coder = CBOR::XS->new_safe;

       my $data = $coder->decode ($cbor_text);
       my $cbor = $coder->encode ($data);

    Longer version: When you are using CBOR in a protocol, talking to
    untrusted potentially hostile creatures requires some thought:

    Security of the CBOR decoder itself
        First and foremost, your CBOR decoder should be secure, that is,
        should not have any buffer overflows or similar bugs that could
        potentially be exploited. Obviously, this module should ensure that
        and I am trying hard on making that true, but you never know.

    CBOR::XS can invoke almost arbitrary callbacks during decoding
        CBOR::XS supports object serialisation - decoding CBOR can cause
        calls to *any* "THAW" method in *any* package that exists in your
        process (that is, CBOR::XS will not try to load modules, but any
        existing "THAW" method or function can be called, so they all have
        to be secure).

        Less obviously, it will also invoke "TO_CBOR" and "FREEZE" methods -
        even if all your "THAW" methods are secure, encoding data structures
        from untrusted sources can invoke those and trigger bugs in those.

        So, if you are not sure about the security of all the modules you
        have loaded (you shouldn't), you should disable this part using
        "forbid_objects" or using "new_safe".

    CBOR can be extended with tags that call library code
        CBOR can be extended with tags, and "CBOR::XS" has a registry of
        conversion functions for many existing tags that can be extended via
        third-party modules (see the "filter" method).

        If you don't trust these, you should configure the "safe" filter
        function, "CBOR::XS::safe_filter" ("new_safe" does this), which by
        default only includes conversion functions that are considered
        "safe" by the author (but again, they can be extended by third party

        Depending on your level of paranoia, you can use the "safe" filter:

           $cbor->filter (\&CBOR::XS::safe_filter);

        ... your own filter...

           $cbor->filter (sub { ... do your stuffs here ... });

        ... or even no filter at all, disabling all tag decoding:

           $cbor->filter (sub { });

        This is never a problem for encoding, as the tag mechanism only
        exists in CBOR texts.

    Resource-starving attacks: object memory usage
        You need to avoid resource-starving attacks. That means you should
        limit the size of CBOR data you accept, or make sure then when your
        resources run out, that's just fine (e.g. by using a separate
        process that can crash safely). The size of a CBOR string in octets
        is usually a good indication of the size of the resources required
        to decode it into a Perl structure. While CBOR::XS can check the
        size of the CBOR text (using "max_size" - done by "new_safe"), it
        might be too late when you already have it in memory, so you might
        want to check the size before you accept the string.

        As for encoding, it is possible to construct data structures that
        are relatively small but result in large CBOR texts (for example by
        having an array full of references to the same big data structure,
        which will all be deep-cloned during encoding by default). This is
        rarely an actual issue (and the worst case is still just running out
        of memory), but you can reduce this risk by using "allow_sharing".

    Resource-starving attacks: stack overflows
        CBOR::XS recurses using the C stack when decoding objects and
        arrays. The C stack is a limited resource: for instance, on my amd64
        machine with 8MB of stack size I can decode around 180k nested
        arrays but only 14k nested CBOR objects (due to perl itself
        recursing deeply on croak to free the temporary). If that is
        exceeded, the program crashes. To be conservative, the default
        nesting limit is set to 512. If your process has a smaller stack,
        you should adjust this setting accordingly with the "max_depth"

    Resource-starving attacks: CPU en-/decoding complexity
        CBOR::XS will use the Math::BigInt, Math::BigFloat and Math::BigRat
        libraries to represent encode/decode bignums. These can be very slow
        (as in, centuries of CPU time) and can even crash your program (and
        are generally not very trustworthy). See the next section on bignum
        security for details.

    Data breaches: leaking information in error messages
        CBOR::XS might leak contents of your Perl data structures in its
        error messages, so when you serialise sensitive information you
        might want to make sure that exceptions thrown by CBOR::XS will not
        end up in front of untrusted eyes.

    Something else...
        Something else could bomb you, too, that I forgot to think of. In
        that case, you get to keep the pieces. I am always open for hints,

    CBOR::XS provides a "TO_CBOR" method for both Math::BigInt and
    Math::BigFloat that tries to encode the number in the simplest possible
    way, that is, either a CBOR integer, a CBOR bigint/decimal fraction (tag
    4) or an arbitrary-exponent decimal fraction (tag 264). Rational numbers
    (Math::BigRat, tag 30) can also contain bignums as members.

    CBOR::XS will also understand base-2 bigfloat or arbitrary-exponent
    bigfloats (tags 5 and 265), but it will never generate these on its own.

    Using the built-in Math::BigInt::Calc support, encoding and decoding
    decimal fractions is generally fast. Decoding bigints can be slow for
    very big numbers (tens of thousands of digits, something that could
    potentially be caught by limiting the size of CBOR texts), and decoding
    bigfloats or arbitrary-exponent bigfloats can be *extremely* slow
    (minutes, decades) for large exponents (roughly 40 bit and longer).

    Additionally, Math::BigInt can take advantage of other bignum libraries,
    such as Math::GMP, which cannot handle big floats with large exponents,
    and might simply abort or crash your program, due to their code quality.

    This can be a concern if you want to parse untrusted CBOR. If it is, you
    might want to disable decoding of tag 2 (bigint) and 3 (negative bigint)
    types. You should also disable types 5 and 265, as these can be slow
    even without bigints.

    Disabling bigints will also partially or fully disable types that rely
    on them, e.g. rational numbers that use bignums.

    This section contains some random implementation notes. They do not
    describe guaranteed behaviour, but merely behaviour as-is implemented
    right now.

    64 bit integers are only properly decoded when Perl was built with 64
    bit support.

    Strings and arrays are encoded with a definite length. Hashes as well,
    unless they are tied (or otherwise magical).

    Only the double data type is supported for NV data types - when Perl
    uses long double to represent floating point values, they might not be
    encoded properly. Half precision types are accepted, but not encoded.

    Strict mode and canonical mode are not implemented.

    On perls that were built without 64 bit integer support (these are rare
    nowadays, even on 32 bit architectures, as all major Perl distributions
    are built with 64 bit integer support), support for any kind of 64 bit
    value in CBOR is very limited - most likely, these 64 bit values will be
    truncated, corrupted, or otherwise not decoded correctly. This also
    includes string, float, array and map sizes that are stored as 64 bit

    This module is *not* guaranteed to be thread safe and there are no plans
    to change this until Perl gets thread support (as opposed to the
    horribly slow so-called "threads" which are simply slow and bloated
    process simulations - use fork, it's *much* faster, cheaper, better).

    (It might actually work, but you have been warned).

    While the goal of this module is to be correct, that unfortunately does
    not mean it's bug-free, only that I think its design is bug-free. If you
    keep reporting bugs they will be fixed swiftly, though.

    Please refrain from using or any other bug reporting
    service. I put the contact address into my modules for a reason.

    The JSON and JSON::XS modules that do similar, but human-readable,

    The Types::Serialiser module provides the data model for true, false and
    error values.

     Marc Lehmann <>