Utterances of a Zimboe

Programming the Internet.

Farewell, XML!

with one comment

Minor update: I’m a little concerned over the ‘service’ construct; is request-response still such a valid schema that it’s worth promoting to a native concept in the specification? I might rather try to suppress it in favor of asynchronous patterns.

Back to business –>

Welcome to the developer documentation for protocol buffers – a language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible way of serializing structured data for use in communications protocols, data storage, and more.

Hah, Google did it again! Excellent. God damn, I’ve really waited for something like this.

Protobuf is of course missing tons of features compared to XML (schema), but I’m quite sure there’s nothing fundamental that can’t be built on top of protobuf. And this is the way to go: very small core that’s a good ground to build on.


  • namespaces (implement with field numbers)
  • validating data types (use higher abstractions; message types)
  • types, types of types (simple/complex), elements, attributes, groups… all the cruft (just types and extensions; rok)

(Protobuf doesn’t compare to JSON; former is strongly (statically) typed. JSON is good for small-scale browser stuff.)

Oh, I just luuuuuv it! (== positive initial impression)


Written by Janne Savukoski

July 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Programming, Technology

One Response

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  1. I read about protocol buffers and also loved it. However, GWT doesn’t seem to currently support it which is quite disappointing.

    David Tolioupov

    July 12, 2008 at 7:53 pm

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