Minimalistic protocol buffer decoder and encoder in C++.
Designed for high performance. Suitable for writing zero copy parsers and encoders with minimal need for run-time allocation of memory.
Low-level: this is designed to be a building block for writing a very
customized decoder for a stable protobuf schema. If your protobuf schema is
changing frequently or lazy decoding is not critical for your application then
this approach offers no value: just use the C++ API that can be generated with
the Google Protobufs
- C++11 compiler
- Some tests depend on the Google Protobuf library, but use of Protozero doesn't need it
How it works
The protozero code does not read
.proto files used by the usual Protobuf
implementations. The developer using protozero has to manually "translate" the
.proto description into code. This means there is no way to access any of the
information from the
.proto description. This results in a few restrictions:
- The names of the fields are not available.
- Enum names are not available, you'll have to use the values they are defined with.
- Default values are not available.
- Field types have to be hardcoded. The library does not know which types to
expect, so the user of the library has to supply the right types. Some checks
are made using
assert(), but mostly the user has to take care of that.
The library will make sure not to overrun the buffer it was given, but basically all other checks have to be made in user code!
You have to have a working knowledge of how protocol buffer encoding works.
- Read the tutorial for an introduction on how to use Protozero.
- Some advanced topics are described in an extra document.
- There is a table of all types and functions in the cheat sheet.
- Read the upgrading instructions if you are upgrading from an older version of Protozero.
The build process will also build the Doxygen-based reference documentation
if you have Doxygen installed. Then
doc/html/index.html in your browser to read it.
Protozero uses a very simplistic test to check the byte order of the system it compiles on. If this check is wrong, you'll get test failures. If this is the case, please open an issue and tell us about your system.
Extensive tests are included. Build them using CMake:
mkdir build cd build cmake .. make
ctest to run the tests.
The unit and reader tests are always build, the writer tests are only build if the Google Protobuf library is found when running CMake.
test/README.md for more details about the test.
To get a coverage report set
LDFLAGS before calling CMake:
CXXFLAGS="--coverage" LDFLAGS="--coverage" cmake ..
make as usual and run the tests using
If you are using
gcov to generate a report (results are in
gcov -lp $(find test/ -name '*.o')
If you are using
llvm-cov gcov -lp $(find test/ -name '*.o')
If you are using
g++ you can use
gcovr to generate nice HTML output:
mkdir -p coverage gcovr . -r SRCDIR --html --html-details -o coverage/index.html
coverage/index.html in your browser to see the report.
After the CMake step, run
to check the code with clang-tidy.
You might have to set
CLANG_TIDY in CMake config.
For extra checks with Cppcheck you can, after the CMake step, call
After the CMake step, call
make install to install the include files in
If you are using CMake to build your own software, you can copy the file
cmake/FindProtozero.cmake and use it in your build. See the file for
Who is using Protozero?
Are you using Protozero? Tell us! Send a pull request with changes to this README.