On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 7:07 AM, <hypn...@donarproject.org> wrote:

> Hello Protobuf team,
>
> first of all thank you for your great Job. We have been internally using
> protobuf in a big financial software company for a while and is has proven
> to be the best choice so far.
> As our need for multiplatform is growing, we have modified Protobuf and
> added some features.
> We reached a point where we though about sharing our need features and see
> if they can be integrated into the Protobuf mainline.
> Here are the features :
>
>    - Generate a new interface for mutable proto objects:
>    *OrBuilder.IBuilder.
>    - Write interfaces (*OrBuilder and *.IBuilder) into separate files.
>    This allows us to package interfaces into a standalone jar that can be
>    referenced from modules that don't need to depend on the implementation.
>    - Generate services for protobuf nano: we have an Android client using
>    our internal RPC system built around protobuf services.
>    - Be able to serialize and parse Proto objects to and from JSON
>    strings. It seems this feature is partially implemented in proto3.
>    - Generate GWT overlays and create a gwt-compatible protobuf jar (like
>    the guava-gwt jar). The gwt-compatible protobuf only has the protobuf nano
>    features.
>
> We have been exchanging with Ray Cromwell at the GWT.create conference
> this year and it seems that some teams at Google have developed there own
> JSON parser and overlay generator.
>
> Are those features relevant for integration into the protobuf mainline?
>
Thanks for reaching out to us. We very much appreciate your contribution to
protobuf, but unfortunately as protobuf is used very extensively inside
Google, it's unlikely for us to integrate these changes because they either
duplicate what we already have inside Google, or conflict with our view of
how protobuf API should be.

As what you have heard from Ray, internally inside Google we already have
JSON serializers/parsers implemented. Actually we not only have one, but
have several JSON implementations using different styles developed by
different teams. For C++ and Java, I know of at least 3 JSON
implementations for each of them. They do not get opensourced with protobuf
because JSON is not part of protobuf library before proto3. For other
features you mentioned, we also already have them internally. Some of them
will get opensourced eventually as part of proto3 but most of them will not
(or will be opensourced as a different project). JSON will be included in
proto3 so we will select and open-source one of the JSON implementations we
have been using internally. We have mutable API for Java implemented, but
it will not be opensourced (you can find some traces of the mutable API here
<https://github.com/google/protobuf/blob/6ef984af4b0c63c1c33127a12dcfc8e6359f0c9e/java/src/main/java/com/google/protobuf/Extension.java#L56>).
For RPC, it will be part of the gRPC project: http://www.grpc.io/.

Although we probably could not integrate your changes directly into
protobuf, I think we can still explore whether we can make changes in
protobuf in a way that would either eliminate the need to adding these
features yourself, or make it easier for these features to interact with
the protobuf library. As I already mentioned, we'll have JSON support added
soon. For RPC, the gRPC project will not only cover protobuf nano but also
every other language that protobuf supports. Maybe you can take a look at
these, compare our implementations with yours and let us know what we can
improve on our side. For the interface change, we won't be able to have
that because it conflicts with the API we have internally. For GWT
protobuf, right now that's not part of the protobuf project. I only know
that GWT has its own protobuf implementation. You might want to contact Ray
on that part.



> Thanks
>
> --
> Fran├žois
>
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