The Ice message format is governed by two sets of rules: the protocol rules and the encoding rules. The protocol rules define the number of message types as well as the format of the message headers. The encoding rules specify how Slice types are marshaled. Ice maintains separate versions for the protocol and encoding, which makes it possible for them to evolve independently.

Several of the new features in Ice 3.5 require changes to the way that Slice classes and exceptions are marshaled. These changes make the encoding incompatible with previous releases, therefore Ice 3.5 also introduces version 1.1 of the Ice encoding. The protocol remains unchanged at version 1.0.

The following improvements to the encoding for classes and exceptions necessitated the new version:

Changing the protocol or encoding format can be disruptive and does not happen often. (In fact, this is the first change since Ice's initial release.) We took advantage of this opportunity to make some other minor improvements that have been on our "wish list" for some time.

Naturally, these changes raise the issue of backward compatibility with applications that use earlier versions of Ice, and more specifically, applications that use version 1.0 of the Ice encoding. Ice 3.5 uses the following semantics:

See Also