In the case you don't have the definition (perhaps a network inspector), you
could always *try* to parse it as UTF8 - if it passes as UTF8 the chances
are fairly good that it truly is a UTF8 string - and the confidence should
go up as the string gets longer (since the chance of a random .proto meeting
the UFT8 spec isn't great).

Marc

On 15 April 2010 21:08, Daniel Wright <dwri...@google.com> wrote:

> 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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Regards,

Marc

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