Comment made by: chrisbetz
thanks for the comments. First, something to the background: I'm developing Sparkling, a Clojure API to Apache Spark. For distributing code in the cluster it depends on AOT compiled functions, so yes, you cannot simply serialize any function around, it needs to be AOT'd. Serializiation provides us with support for the current bindings etc, and everything works as expected. So, AFunction is serializable for a reason and so are other implementations of AFn/IFn, everything works well.
Regarding the state of protocols and multimethods - I think it's conceptually the same as the state of functions (which function definition, the var might be bound multiple times, etc.), and the closures given in bindings. There's no reason for me as the user of a protocol to believe that the method from the protocol differs from a function. In fact (ifn? protocol-method) also returns true.
serializable-fn, not being intended for over-the-wire serialization in the first place, has problems with collections of functions in bindings of the serializble function, together with an issue with PermGen pollution by creating classes for the same function over and over again in the context of Spark.
I think I'm fine for the moment, as I can wrap the protocol method in a function, but I still believe, that this is a bug.