The serialized message is just an array of bytes. We use std::string as an efficient container for these bytes, but it is still just storing bytes. std::string, unlike Java's String, only contains bytes, not unicode characters. So, there is no performance penalty. In fact, serializing to a string is typically much faster than serializing to an abstract stream, especially with v2.1.0, since the code does not need to perform bounds checks (since it pre-allocates a string that is guaranteed to be large enough). The only case where you would not want to serialize to a string is if your message is very big, since some memory allocators do not behave well when allocating large contiguous blocks of memory. In this case, using streams allows the message to be written one piece at a time.
On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 10:43 AM, <dan.schmidt.va...@gmail.com> wrote: > > Thanks very much for the answers guys. Most illustrative. The error > messages did in fact disappear with that simple change in all my proto > files. > > Still, now that this error has shown in the code I have, I keep > wondering whether the fact that I'm serialising to string is > inefficient. What would be the case for using serialisation to a > stream then? > > Thanks again for the help. > > Dan > > On May 12, 5:26 pm, Kenton Varda <ken...@google.com> wrote: > > Protocol Buffers has a "bytes" type. That's what it's talking about. > Just > > change "string" to "bytes" in your .proto file. (They work exactly the > same > > in C++ but are different in Java and Python.) > > > > On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 6:47 AM, <dan.schmidt.va...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > > > I am having a very similar problem. Just installed the 2.0.3 version > > > and now all my serialisations complain. > > > > > libprotobuf ERROR ./google/protobuf/wire_format_inl.h:138] Encountered > > > string containing invalid UTF-8 data while parsing protocol buffer. > > > Strings must contain only UTF-8; use the 'bytes' type for raw bytes. > > > > > Now, C++ doesn't have a byte type. Just signed or unsigned chars, and > > > string is an array of those. So, what does it need? Would I be better > > > off serialising to a stream like the CodedStream? > > > > > I am very confused on the issue. I have the horrible feeling now that > > > I'm losing efficiency because serialising to string might mean that > > > I'm losing my raw data. > > > > > Otherwise, then the word ERROR on the output might be a bit too > > > strong. > > > > > If anybody can clarify, I'd be very grateful. > > > > > Dan > > > > > On May 10, 5:59 pm, Henner Zeller <h.zel...@acm.org> wrote: > > > > On Sun, May 10, 2009 at 6:08 AM, edan <edan...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > > > I have some fields that may contain non-UTF8 data. > > > > > I understand that I just need to change their type from "string" to > > > "bytes" > > > > > and it should just work, transparently. > > > > > > yes. The're the same on the wire. > > > > > > > I have a few fields that probably will only contain ASCII i.e. > legal > > > UTF8, > > > > > but I'm not 100% sure. > > > > > I am tempted to just turn them all to "bytes". > > > > > But this begs the question - what is the "string" type useful for, > and > > > why > > > > > shouldn't I just always use "bytes" to be sure, all the time, and > not > > > both > > > > > with "string" at all? > > > > > Does "string" add anything besides validation that only valid UTF8 > is > > > > > passing over the wire? Is there really a big benefit to this > > > behavior? Or > > > > > is there some other advantage that I'll miss out on by changing all > my > > > > > "string"s to "bytes"? > > > > > > If you use the C++ api there is not much difference since both types > > > > are represented as std::string in the API. It makes a big difference > > > > for the Java API (and Python?), that have a native type for an UTF-8 > > > > string. In Java, if you deal with a protocol buffer 'string' type, > the > > > > generated API will return a java.lang.String while otherwise it will > > > > return a ByteString. ByteString can hold any character while the > > > > native Java String works only for UTF-8. So while 'ByteString' is > more > > > > flexible, 'String' is more convenient to deal with within Java code > > > > because all string manipulation libraries can handle it. > > > > > > So the benefit is a more convenient Api in the generated Java code. > > > > And as well documentation: if you use 'string' you emphasize that a > > > > field only contains readable text while 'bytes' might contain any > > > > binary blob. > > > > > > -h > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Protocol Buffers" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to protobuf+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/protobuf?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---