On Aug 5, 2010, at 9:16 , Ralf wrote:
I might be mistaken, but didn't "groups" use this approach - use a
special tag to indicate the end of a message? As only tags are
checked, there is no need to escape any data.


Good point, I forgot about groups. They definitely do use that approach. Maybe one of the Googlers on this list will have a better idea about why groups are now deprecated in favour of nested messages.


Anyway, I was referring more to the implementation. For example, we
could first serialize the message to a ByteArrayOutputStream, then
write the result and its size to the output. Obviously this approach
is much slower, but I was wondering if there were other similar
approaches.

That's true, and would work. The other option would be to use fixed width integers for the lengths, so then you could "reserve" space in the buffer, serialize the message, then go back and fill in the length field. This would be an incompatible change to the serialization format, however.

Evan

--
Evan Jones
http://evanjones.ca/

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