Comment #14 on issue 493 by protobuf-java (2.5.0) GeneratedMessage#getUnknownFields() not implemented

This is more than "can only use one version." Protobuf requires that you run with precisely the version of the library that all of your components compiled were with. So you if you want to use protobuf 2.5 for your project, but you need to use project OpenFoo that was compiled with protobuf 2.4, you need to get the sources and recompile instead of simply using the binaries from Maven Central. Now repeat with each of the dozens of projects that you depend on.

Additionally, most of the linux distros just give you a single version of protoc. That means that unless you are using the default for your distro, you need to fetch protoc and compile it too.

None of this is the end of the world, of course. Once you know about the problem, you look for it and make sure you use the right version of protoc. But it is equivalent to a version incompatible change in each release of protobuf, which is sub-optimal for users who don't recompile the world by default.

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