My subclass implements Serializable but my superclass doesn't. Both subclass and superclass contain instance variables that need to be saved as part of the state of the subclass. Will serialization save the superclass fields for me?
When you serialize an object, the serialization mechanism works by chaining up the inheritence hierarchy, saving the sate of each Serializable superclass in turn. When serialization reaches the first non-serializable superclass, the serialization stops.
When deserializing, the state of this first non-serializable superclass is restored not from the stream, but by invoking that class' no-argument constructor. If the no-argument constructor is not adequate for your purposes, you must customize the serialization of your subclass with writeObject() and readObject() in order to write out and restore any information from the non-serializable superclass that you find necessary.