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What Are Protocol Buffers?

Protocol buffers are Google's language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible mechanism for serializing structured data – think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler. You define how you want your data to be structured once, then you can use special generated source code to easily write and read your structured data to and from a variety of data streams and using a variety of languages – Java, C++, or Python.

The download provides the complete source code for the protocol buffer compiler and all the classes your generated code needs, together with building and installation instructions.

How do I start?

  1. Download and install the package.
  2. Read the overview.
  3. Try the tutorial for your favourite language.