Many objects in Skia, such as SkShaders and other effects on SkPaint, need to be flattened into a data stream for either transport or as part of the key to the font cache. Classes for these objects should derive from SkFlattenable or one of its subclasses. If you create a new flattenable class, you need to make sure you do a few things so that it will work on all platforms:

1: Override the method flatten (the default scope is protected):

virtual void flatten(SkFlattenableWriteBuffer& buffer) const override {
    // Write any private data that needs to be stored to recreate this object

2: Override the (protected) constructor that creates an object from an SkFlattenableReadBuffer:

SkNewClass(SkFlattenableReadBuffer& buffer)
: INHERITED(buffer) {
    // Read the data from the buffer in the same order as it was written to the
    // SkFlattenableWriteBuffer and construct the new object

3: Declare a set of deserialization procs for your object in the class declaration: We have a macro for this:



4: If your class is declared in a .cpp file or in a private header file, create a function to register its group: This occurs in cases where the classes are hidden behind a factory, like many effects and shaders are. Then in the parent class header file (such as SkGradientShader) you need to add:



Then in the cpp file you define all the members of the group together:




    // etc


5: Register your flattenable with the global registrar: You need to add one line to SkFlattenable::InitalizeFlattenables(). To register the flattenable in a Skia build, that function is defined in SkGlobalInitialization_default.cpp. For Chromium, it is in SkGlobalInitialization_chromium.cpp. For a single flattenable add


For a group, add