On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 10:42 PM, Christopher Smith <cbsm...@gmail.com>wrote:

> This aspect could be mostly mitigated by integrating a metadata header in
> to files. For systems with this kind of an approach look at Avro & Hessian.
>

Problems with that:
1) Protobufs are routinely used to encode small messages of just a few
bytes.  Metadata would almost certainly be larger than the actual messages
in such cases.
2) This metadata would add an extra layer of indirection into the parsing
process which would probably make it much slower than it is today.
3) Interpreting the metadata itself to build that table would add additional
time and memory overhead.  Presumably this would have to involve looking up
field names in hash maps -- expensive operations compared to the things the
protobuf parser does today.

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