You can't tell without the .proto file.  Protocol buffers are really
intended to be used in conjunction with the .proto file, and it's only in
rare cases (usually for debugging) that you'd ever want to try to understand
them without the .proto file (or better yet, the protocol descriptor).

Note that most users shouldn't write their own decoding code -- ideally you
should use one of the existing APIs.

On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 12:58 PM, ssk <tatsuya....@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi gurus,
>
> I've just dived into protocol buffers and been reading "http://
> code.google.com/apis/protocolbuffers/docs/encoding.html".
>
> I was trying to decode encoded messages but I'm totally stuck.
> Wondering how I can tell an element is a regular string or an embedded
> message if  its element type is 2.
> If I have its proto file, probably I could. But if I don't have
> one ???
>
> Is there any way I can figure it out ? or impossible ?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> -ssk
>
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