In one place in production code, we used ToASCII and ParseASCII APIs
to encode and decode a protocol message.

The previous implementer had a comment on the usage of ASCII:

// The protocol buffer is converted into an
// ascii version so that a big endian transmitter can talk to a little
// endian receiver and vice versa. This will change once the protocol
// buffer implementation is ported to work with a neutral wire format.

First question: Does the protocol buffer implementation support
neutral format now? In other words, does two machines with different
endians talk to each other (encode and decode) via protocol buffers.

I added couple of new optional field to the old protocol buffers. I'm
seeing a problem with backward compatibility.  That is old code is
complaining that the new fields are unrecognized.

Second Question: Are these ToASCII and ParseASCII methods backward
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