|protobufjs||565.48 kB||BSD-3-Clause||10 Years||22 Aug 2023|
|pbf||26.54 kB||BSD-3-Clause||9 Years||11 Oct 2019|
|protocol-buffers-schema||13.48 kB||MIT||8 Years||9 Sep 2021|
|protocol-buffers||13.47 kB||MIT||9 Years||23 Mar 2022|
|@apollo/protobufjs||612.64 kB||BSD-3-Clause||4 Years||9 Nov 2022|
|varint||3.59 kB||MIT||10 Years||28 Sep 2020|
|proto3-json-serializer||19.12 kB||Apache-2.0||2 Years||7 Aug 2023|
|@opentelemetry/otlp-transformer||31.58 kB||Apache-2.0||1 Years||12 Sep 2023|
|@opentelemetry/exporter-trace-otlp-proto||12.71 kB||Apache-2.0||2 Years||12 Sep 2023|
|geobuf||15.25 kB||ISC||9 Years||20 Jul 2020|
|@opentelemetry/otlp-proto-exporter-base||430.26 kB||Apache-2.0||1 Years||12 Sep 2023|
|@improbable-eng/grpc-web||11.29 kB||Apache-2.0||4 Years||4 Nov 2021|
|@protobuf-ts/runtime||53.2 kB||(Apache-2.0 AND BSD-3-Clause)||3 Years||31 Jul 2023|
|etcd3||86.26 kB||MIT||6 Years||30 Jul 2023|
|ts-protoc-gen||38.83 kB||Apache-2.0||6 Years||27 Apr 2021|
Protocol buffers, often known as Protobuf, are essentially a language-agnostic binary data formatting library developed by Google. They are used when you need a way to efficiently serialize structured data for network communication, storage in databases or file systems, or for inter-process communication. Protocol buffers are particularly beneficial in the following situations:
Efficiency and Speed: Protocol buffers are more efficient and faster than other serialization formats such as JSON or XML, while allowing forward and backward compatibility. So, when you have very large datasets to transmit over a network or store in a database, Protocol Buffers offer a very efficient solution.
Compatibility: They offer backward and forward compatibility. As long as you follow certain practices (like always using field numbers when adding or deleting fields) the Protocol buffers can be easily updated and the data can still be parsed correctly.
Language Agnostic: Protocol Buffers are language-neutral. This means you can generate the data in one language and consume it in another.
Protocol Buffers libraries include a variety of features, they are usually equipped with the following functionalities:
Interface Description Language (IDL): This is a language that describes the structure of the data that needs to be serialized. IDL is used to define the message structure and the data fields.
Serialization/Deserialization Functions: These are functions that convert between the binary format and the language-specific data structures.
Service Definitions: If you're writing an API, you can define your services with method parameters and return types. This can then be used to generate client and server stubs.
Backward/Forward Compatibility: Allows the addition of new fields or the deletion of old ones without breaking the decoding of older versions of the message.
It's worth noting that in the context of npm package manager, it will be essential to validate if these functionalities are fully supported in the "protocol buffers" libraries that you install from npm.
When using Protocol Buffers libraries, there are a couple of common gotchas or pitfalls to avoid:
Field Numbers: Do not change the field numbers for any existing fields when updating the protocol buffer message type. If you update the field numbers, it could potentially lead to data amplification and compatibility issues.
Message Size: Beware of the message size, as protobufs have a default max size (usually 64MB). If you try to serialize data that is bigger than the default limit, it could result in errors.
Defaults: Protocol Buffers don't include fields that are set to their default values (like '0' for ints or booleans, '' for strings etc.) when serialized, which can cause problems when trying to differentiate between a default value and an unset value. Always explicitly check for the presence of the field if this distinction matters.
Learning Curve: Protobuf does have a somewhat steep learning curve compared to something like JSON. You have to define your data structures and compile them, which can be a paradigm shift if you haven't used schemas before.
When choosing a Protocol Buffers library from npm, do take note of these considerations as well to select a package that fits with your application needs.