Currently, the socket appender does not require a layout. The layout is internally configured by using the "useXml" option. If useXml is set to true, events are formatted as XML, and if set to false, they are serialized.
A better solution would be to make LoggerAppenderSocket use a layout so the user can pick which layout to use the standard way.
To keep all functionality, a new layout should be coded which outputs serialized event objects. This should be made default layout.