Basic saveobj and loadobj Pattern

Using saveobj and loadobj

Depending on the requirements of your class, there are various ways you can use saveobj and loadobj methods. This pattern is a flexible way to solve problems that you cannot address by simpler means.

The basic process is:

  • Use saveobj to save all essential data in a struct and do not save the object.

  • Use loadobj to reconstruct the object from the saved data.

This approach is not useful in cases where you cannot save property values in a struct field. Data that you cannot save, such as a file identifier, you can possibly regenerate in the loadobj method.

saveobj

For this pattern, define saveobj as an ordinary method that accepts an object of the class and returns a struct.

  • Copy each property value to a structure field of the same name.

  • You can save only the data that is necessary to rebuild the object. Avoid saving whole objects hierarchies, such as those created by graphs.

methods
   function s = saveobj(obj)
      s.Prop1 = obj.Prop1;
      s.Prop2 = obj.Prop2
      s.Data = obj.GraphHandle.YData;
   end
end

loadobj

Define loadobj as a static method. Create an object by calling the class constructor. Then assign values to properties from the struct passed to loadobj. Use the data to regenerate properties that were not saved.

methods(Static)
   function obj = loadobj(s)
      if isstruct(s)
         newObj = ClassConstructor; 
         newObj.Prop1 = s.Prop1;
         newObj.Prop2 = s.Prop2
         newObj.GraphHandle = plot(s.Data);
         obj = newObj;
      else
         obj = s;
      end
   end
end

If the load function encounters an error, load passes loadobj a struct instead of an object. Your loadobj method must always be able to handle a struct as the input argument. The input to loadobj is always a scalar.

Handle Load Problems

loadobj can handle a struct input even if you are not using a saveobj method.

The GraphExpression class creates a graph of a MATLAB® expression over a specified range of data. GraphExpression uses its loadobj method to regenerate the graph, which is not saved with the object.

classdef GraphExpression
   properties
      FuncHandle
      Range
   end
   methods
      function obj = GraphExpression(fh,rg)
         obj.FuncHandle = fh;
         obj.Range = rg;
         makeGraph(obj)
      end
      function makeGraph(obj)
         rg = obj.Range;
         x = min(rg):max(rg);
         data = obj.FuncHandle(x);
         plot(data)
      end
   end
   methods (Static)
      function obj = loadobj(s)
         if isstruct(s)
            fh = s.FuncHandle;
            rg = s.Range;
            obj = GraphExpression(fh,rg);
         else
            makeGraph(s);
            obj = s;
         end
      end
   end
end

Save and Load Object

Create an object with an anonymous function and a range of data as inputs:

h = GraphExpression(@(x)x.^4,[1:25])
h = 

  GraphExpression with properties:

    FuncHandle: @(x)x.^4
         Range: [1x25 double]

Save the GraphExpression object and close the graph:

save myFile h
close

Load the object. MATLAB recreates the graph:

load myFile h

If the load function cannot create the object and passes a struct to loadobj, loadobj attempts to create an object with the data supplied.

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