Category Archives: Google

Google release protocol buffers as an open source project

Yesterday the Google open source blog announced a new open source project, to release one of the core pieces of Google infrastructure: protocol buffers. Basically protocol buffers are a way of encoding structured data in a language-neutral and versioning-friendly fashion. Yes, there are a lot of similar ways of doing similar things, but this happens to be the one we use.

Currently the protocol buffer compiler (which takes .proto files and converts them into source for various languages) supports C++, Java and Python. I’m hoping to add C# to that list reasonably quickly. To start with this will just be in my spare time rather than as a 20% project, but who knows…

It’s really nice to work in an environment where the question of “is there any reason we can’t open source this?” crops up quite frequently. I’m looking forward to the day when a piece of code I’ve developed at Google ends up as part of an open source project.