Browse files

Docs: Restructured README

  • Loading branch information...
dcodeIO committed Apr 4, 2017
1 parent bed5142 commit 412407de9afb7ec3a999c4c9a3a1f388f971fce7
Showing with 177 additions and 194 deletions.
  1. +175 −11
  2. +2 −183 cli/
@@ -17,12 +17,24 @@ Contents
* [Examples](#examples)<br />
A few examples to get you started.
* [Documentation](#documentation)<br />
A list of available documentation resources.
* [Using .proto files](#using-proto-files)
* [Using JSON descriptors](#using-json-descriptors)
* [Using reflection only](#using-reflection-only)
* [Using custom classes](#using-custom-classes)
* [Using services](#using-services)
* [Usage with TypeScript](#usage-with-typescript)
* [Command line](#command-line)<br />
How to use the command line utility.
* [pbjs for JavaScript](#pbjs-for-javascript)
* [pbts for TypeScript](#pbts-for-typescript)
* [Reflection vs. static code](#reflection-vs-static-code)
* [Command line API](#command-line-api)
* [Additional documentation](#additional-documentation)<br />
A list of available documentation resources.
* [Performance](#performance)<br />
A few internals and a benchmark on performance.
@@ -329,7 +341,7 @@ var root = new Root().define("awesomepackage").add(AwesomeMessage);
Detailed information on the reflection structure is available within the [documentation](#documentation).
Detailed information on the reflection structure is available within the [API documentation](#additional-documentation).
### Using custom classes
@@ -465,7 +477,7 @@ protobuf.load("awesome.proto", function(err, root) {
**Note:** Dynamically generated runtime message classes cannot be typed, technically, so you must either access its fields using `message["awesomeField"]` notation or you can utilize [typings of its static counterpart]( for full typings support.
**Note:** Dynamically generated runtime message classes cannot be typed, technically, so you must either access its fields using `message["awesomeField"]` notation or you can utilize [typings of its static counterpart](#pbts-for-typescript) for full typings support.
If you generated static code to `bundle.js` using the CLI and its type definitions to `bundle.d.ts` instead, then you can just do:
@@ -486,25 +498,177 @@ var buffer = AwesomeMessage.encode(message).finish();
/// <reference path="./node_modules/protobufjs/stub-node.d.ts" />
Command line
**Note** that moving the CLI to [its own package](./cli) is a work in progress. At the moment, it's still part of the main package.
The command line interface (CLI) can be used to translate between file formats and to generate static code as well as TypeScript definitions.
### pbjs for JavaScript
Translates between file formats and generates static code.
-t, --target Specifies the target format. Also accepts a path to require a custom target.
json JSON representation
json-module JSON representation as a module
proto2 Protocol Buffers, Version 2
proto3 Protocol Buffers, Version 3
static Static code without reflection (non-functional on its own)
static-module Static code without reflection as a module
-p, --path Adds a directory to the include path.
-o, --out Saves to a file instead of writing to stdout.
--sparse Exports only those types referenced from a main file (experimental).
Module targets only:
-w, --wrap Specifies the wrapper to use. Also accepts a path to require a custom wrapper.
default Default wrapper supporting both CommonJS and AMD
commonjs CommonJS wrapper
amd AMD wrapper
es6 ES6 wrapper (implies --es6)
-r, --root Specifies an alternative protobuf.roots name.
-l, --lint Linter configuration. Defaults to protobuf.js-compatible rules:
eslint-disable block-scoped-var, no-redeclare, no-control-regex, no-prototype-builtins
--es6 Enables ES6 syntax (const/let instead of var)
Proto sources only:
--keep-case Keeps field casing instead of converting to camel case.
Static targets only:
--no-create Does not generate create functions used for reflection compatibility.
--no-encode Does not generate encode functions.
--no-decode Does not generate decode functions.
--no-verify Does not generate verify functions.
--no-convert Does not generate convert functions like from/toObject
--no-delimited Does not generate delimited encode/decode functions.
--no-beautify Does not beautify generated code.
--no-comments Does not output any JSDoc comments.
--force-long Enfores the use of 'Long' for s-/u-/int64 and s-/fixed64 fields.
--force-message Enfores the use of runtime messages instead of plain objects.
usage: pbjs [options] file1.proto file2.json ... (or) other | pbjs [options] -
For production environments it is recommended to bundle all your .proto files to a single .json file, which minimizes the number of network requests and avoids any parser overhead (hint: works with just the **light** library):
$> pbjs -t json file1.proto file2.proto > bundle.json
Now, either include this file in your final bundle:
var root = protobuf.Root.fromJSON(require("./bundle.json"));
or load it the usual way:
protobuf.load("bundle.json", function(err, root) {
Generated static code, on the other hand, works with just the **minimal** library. For example
$> pbjs -t static-module -w commonjs -o compiled.js file1.proto file2.proto
will generate static code for definitions within `file1.proto` and `file2.proto` to a CommonJS module `compiled.js`.
**ProTip!** Documenting your .proto files with `/** ... */`-blocks or (trailing) `/// ...` lines translates to generated static code.
### pbts for TypeScript
Generates TypeScript definitions from annotated JavaScript files.
-o, --out Saves to a file instead of writing to stdout.
-g, --global Name of the global object in browser environments, if any.
--no-comments Does not output any JSDoc comments.
Internal flags:
-n, --name Wraps everything in a module of the specified name.
-m, --main Whether building the main library without any imports.
usage: pbts [options] file1.js file2.js ... (or) other | pbts [options] -
Picking up on the example above, the following not just generates static code to a CommonJS module `compiled.js` but also its respective TypeScript definitions to `compiled.d.ts`:
$> pbjs -t static-module -w commonjs -o compiled.js file1.proto file2.proto
$> pbts -o compiled.d.ts compiled.js
Additionally, TypeScript definitions of static modules are compatible with their reflection-based counterparts (i.e. as exported by JSON modules), as long as the following conditions are met:
1. Instead of using `new SomeMessage(...)`, always use `SomeMessage.create(...)` because reflection objects do not provide a constructor.
2. Types, services and enums must start with an uppercase letter to become available as properties of the reflected types as well (i.e. to be able to use `MyMessage.MyEnum` instead of `root.lookup("MyMessage.MyEnum")`).
For example, the following generates a JSON module `bundle.js` and a `bundle.d.ts`, but no static code:
$> pbjs -t json-module -w commonjs -o bundle.js file1.proto file2.proto
$> pbjs -t static-module file1.proto file2.proto | pbts -o bundle.d.ts -
### Reflection vs. static code
While using .proto files directly requires the full library respectively pure reflection/JSON the light library, pretty much all code but the relatively short descriptors is shared.
Static code, on the other hand, requires just the minimal library, but generates additional, albeit editable, source code without any reflection features.
There is no significant difference performance-wise as the code generated statically is pretty much the same as generated at runtime and both are largely interchangeable as seen in the previous section.
### Command line API
Both utilities can be used programmatically by providing command line arguments and a callback to their respective `main` functions:
var pbjs = require("protobufjs/cli/pbjs"); // or require("protobufjs/cli").pbjs / .pbts
pbjs.main([ "--target", "json-module", "path/to/myproto.proto" ], function(err, output) {
if (err)
throw err;
// do something with output
Additional documentation
#### Protocol Buffers
* [Google's Developer Guide](
#### protobuf.js
* [API Documentation](
* [CLI Documentation](./cli/
* [Frequently asked questions]( on our wiki
#### Community
* [Questions and answers]( on StackOverflow
Command line
Command line usage has moved to the (soon to be decoupled) [CLI package](./cli/
The package includes a benchmark that tries to compare performance to native JSON as far as this is possible. On an i7-2600K running node 6.9.1 it yields:
Oops, something went wrong.

0 comments on commit 412407d

Please sign in to comment.