I am exploring protobuf to use it in my project.

I would like to have a message defined in a .proto file. All the
fields in this message would be "optional" due to the fact that the
message producer in my project context would set just a subset of
fields. Can someone please clarify

1. Is there a way to figure out just the fields that are being set in
the message? I would require this after my message is deserialized.
2. does field_count() always return the total number of fields defined
in the message in .proto?
3. Is Reflection the only option to set fields directly/indirectly via
field numbers?

Thanks, Ananth

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