Nanopb: API reference

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Documentation index

  1. Overview
  2. Basic concepts
  3. API reference
  4. Security model
  5. Migration from older versions
  6. New features in nanopb 0.4

Compilation options

The following options can be specified in one of two ways:

  1. Using the -D switch on the C compiler command line.
  2. Using a #define at the top of pb.h.

NOTE: You must have the same settings for the nanopb library and all code that includes nanopb headers.

The PB_MAX_REQUIRED_FIELDS and PB_FIELD_32BIT settings allow raising some datatype limits to suit larger messages. Their need is recognized automatically by C-preprocessor #if-directives in the generated .pb.c files. The default setting is to use the smallest datatypes (least resources used).

Proto file options

The generator behaviour can be adjusted using several options, defined in the nanopb.proto file in the generator folder. Here is a list of the most common options, but see the file for a full list:

These options can be defined for the .proto files before they are converted using the nanopb-generatory.py. There are three ways to define the options:

  1. Using a separate .options file. This allows using wildcards for applying same options to multiple fields.
  2. Defining the options on the command line of nanopb_generator.py. This only makes sense for settings that apply to a whole file.
  3. Defining the options in the .proto file using the nanopb extensions. This keeps the options close to the fields they apply to, but can be problematic if the same .proto file is shared with many projects.

The effect of the options is the same no matter how they are given. The most common purpose is to define maximum size for string fields in order to statically allocate them.

Defining the options in a .options file

The preferred way to define options is to have a separate file ‘myproto.options’ in the same directory as the ‘myproto.proto’. :

# myproto.proto
message MyMessage {
    required string name = 1;
    repeated int32 ids = 4;
}

# myproto.options
MyMessage.name         max_size:40
MyMessage.ids          max_count:5

The generator will automatically search for this file and read the options from it. The file format is as follows:

To debug problems in applying the options, you can use the -v option for the nanopb generator. With protoc, plugin options are specified with --nanopb_opt:

nanopb_generator -v message.proto           # When invoked directly
protoc ... --nanopb_opt=-v --nanopb_out=. message.proto  # When invoked through protoc

Protoc doesn’t currently pass include path into plugins. Therefore if your .proto is in a subdirectory, nanopb may have trouble finding the associated .options file. A workaround is to specify include path separately to the nanopb plugin, like:

protoc -Isubdir --nanopb_opt=-Isubdir --nanopb_out=. message.proto

If preferred, the name of the options file can be set using generator argument -f.

Defining the options on command line

The nanopb_generator.py has a simple command line option -s OPTION:VALUE. The setting applies to the whole file that is being processed.

Defining the options in the .proto file

The .proto file format allows defining custom options for the fields. The nanopb library comes with nanopb.proto which does exactly that, allowing you do define the options directly in the .proto file:

import "nanopb.proto";

message MyMessage {
    required string name = 1 [(nanopb).max_size = 40];
    repeated int32 ids = 4   [(nanopb).max_count = 5];
}

A small complication is that you have to set the include path of protoc so that nanopb.proto can be found. Therefore, to compile a .proto file which uses options, use a protoc command similar to:

protoc -Inanopb/generator/proto -I. --nanopb_out=. message.proto

The options can be defined in file, message and field scopes:

option (nanopb_fileopt).max_size = 20; // File scope
message Message
{
    option (nanopb_msgopt).max_size = 30; // Message scope
    required string fieldsize = 1 [(nanopb).max_size = 40]; // Field scope
}

pb.h

pb_byte_t

Type used for storing byte-sized data, such as raw binary input and bytes-type fields.

typedef uint_least8_t pb_byte_t;

For most platforms this is equivalent to uint8_t. Some platforms however do not support 8-bit variables, and on those platforms 16 or 32 bits need to be used for each byte.

pb_size_t

Type used for storing tag numbers and sizes of message fields. By default the type is 16-bit:

typedef uint_least16_t pb_size_t;

If tag numbers or fields larger than 65535 are needed, PB_FIELD_32BIT option can be used to change the type to 32-bit value.

pb_type_t

Type used to store the type of each field, to control the encoder/decoder behaviour.

typedef uint_least8_t pb_type_t;

The low-order nibble of the enumeration values defines the function that can be used for encoding and decoding the field data:

LTYPE identifier Value Storage format
PB_LTYPE_BOOL 0x00 Boolean.
PB_LTYPE_VARINT 0x01 Integer.
PB_LTYPE_UVARINT 0x02 Unsigned integer.
PB_LTYPE_SVARINT 0x03 Integer, zigzag encoded.
PB_LTYPE_FIXED32 0x04 32-bit integer or floating point.
PB_LTYPE_FIXED64 0x05 64-bit integer or floating point.
PB_LTYPE_BYTES 0x06 Structure with size_t field and byte array.
PB_LTYPE_STRING 0x07 Null-terminated string.
PB_LTYPE_SUBMESSAGE 0x08 Submessage structure.
PB_LTYPE_SUBMSG_W_CB 0x09 Submessage with pre-decoding callback.
PB_LTYPE_EXTENSION 0x0A Pointer to pb_extension_t.
PB_LTYPE_FIXED_LENGTH_BYTES 0x0B Inline pb_byte_t array of fixed size.

The bits 4-5 define whether the field is required, optional or repeated. There are separate definitions for semantically different modes, even though some of them share values and are distinguished based on values of other fields:

HTYPE identifier Value Field handling
PB_HTYPE_REQUIRED 0x00 Verify that field exists in decoded message.
PB_HTYPE_OPTIONAL 0x10 Use separate has_<field> boolean to specify whether the field is present.
PB_HTYPE_SINGULAR 0x10 Proto3 field, which is present when its value is non-zero.
PB_HTYPE_REPEATED 0x20 A repeated field with preallocated array. Separate <field>_count for number of items.
PB_HTYPE_FIXARRAY 0x20 A repeated field that has constant length.
PB_HTYPE_ONEOF 0x30 Oneof-field, only one of each group can be present.

The bits 6-7 define the how the storage for the field is allocated:

ATYPE identifier Value Allocation method
PB_ATYPE_STATIC 0x00 Statically allocated storage in the structure.
PB_ATYPE_POINTER 0x80 Dynamically allocated storage. Struct field contains a pointer to the storage.
PB_ATYPE_CALLBACK 0x40 A field with dynamic storage size. Struct field contains a pointer to a callback function.

pb_msgdesc_t

Autogenerated structure that contains information about a message and pointers to the field descriptors. Use functions defined in pb_common.h to process the field information.

typedef struct pb_msgdesc_s pb_msgdesc_t;
struct pb_msgdesc_s {
    pb_size_t field_count;
    const uint32_t *field_info;
    const pb_msgdesc_t * const * submsg_info;
    const pb_byte_t *default_value;

    bool (*field_callback)(pb_istream_t *istream, pb_ostream_t *ostream, const pb_field_iter_t *field);
};
field_count Total number of fields in the message.
field_info Pointer to compact representation of the field information.
submsg_info Pointer to array of pointers to descriptors for submessages.
default_value Default values for this message as an encoded protobuf message.
field_callback Function used to handle all callback fields in this message. By default pb_default_field_callback() which loads per-field callbacks from a pb_callback_t structure.

pb_field_iter_t

Describes a single structure field with memory position in relation to others. The field information is stored in a compact format and loaded into pb_field_iter_t by the functions defined in pb_common.h.

typedef struct pb_field_iter_s pb_field_iter_t;
struct pb_field_iter_s {
    const pb_msgdesc_t *descriptor;
    void *message;

    pb_size_t index;
    pb_size_t field_info_index;
    pb_size_t required_field_index;
    pb_size_t submessage_index;

    pb_size_t tag;
    pb_size_t data_size;
    pb_size_t array_size;
    pb_type_t type;

    void *pField;
    void *pData;
    void *pSize;

    const pb_msgdesc_t *submsg_desc;
};
descriptor Pointer to pb_msgdesc_t for the message that contains this field.
message Pointer to the start of the message structure.
index Index of the field inside the message
field_info_index Index to the internal field_info array
required_field_index Index that counts only the required fields
submessage_index Index that counts only submessages
tag Tag number defined in .proto file for this field.
data_size sizeof() of the field in the structure. For repeated fields this is for a single array entry.
array_size Maximum number of items in a statically allocated array.
type Type (pb_type_t) of the field.
pField Pointer to the field storage in the structure.
pData Pointer to data contents. For arrays and pointers this can be different than pField.
pSize Pointer to count or has field, or NULL if this field doesn’t have such.
submsg_desc For submessage fields, points to the descriptor for the submessage.

By default pb_size_t is 16-bit, limiting the sizes and tags to 65535. The limit can be raised by defining PB_FIELD_32BIT.

pb_bytes_array_t

An byte array with a field for storing the length:

typedef struct {
    pb_size_t size;
    pb_byte_t bytes[1];
} pb_bytes_array_t;

In an actual array, the length of bytes may be different. The macros PB_BYTES_ARRAY_T() and PB_BYTES_ARRAY_T_ALLOCSIZE() are used to allocate variable length storage for bytes fields.

pb_callback_t

Part of a message structure, for fields with type PB_HTYPE_CALLBACK:

typedef struct _pb_callback_t pb_callback_t;
struct _pb_callback_t {
    union {
        bool (*decode)(pb_istream_t *stream, const pb_field_iter_t *field, void **arg);
        bool (*encode)(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_field_iter_t *field, void * const *arg);
    } funcs;

    void *arg;
};

A pointer to the arg is passed to the callback when calling. It can be used to store any information that the callback might need. Note that this is a double pointer. If you set field.arg to point to &data in your main code, in the callback you can access it like this:

myfunction(*arg);           /* Gives pointer to data as argument */
myfunction(*(data_t*)*arg); /* Gives value of data as argument */
*arg = newdata;             /* Alters value of field.arg in structure */

When calling pb_encode, funcs.encode is used, and similarly when calling pb_decode, funcs.decode is used. The function pointers are stored in the same memory location but are of incompatible types. You can set the function pointer to NULL to skip the field.

pb_wire_type_t

Protocol Buffers wire types. These are used with pb_encode_tag. :

typedef enum {
    PB_WT_VARINT = 0,
    PB_WT_64BIT  = 1,
    PB_WT_STRING = 2,
    PB_WT_32BIT  = 5
} pb_wire_type_t;

pb_extension_type_t

Defines the handler functions and auxiliary data for a field that extends another message. Usually autogenerated by nanopb_generator.py.

typedef struct {
    bool (*decode)(pb_istream_t *stream, pb_extension_t *extension,
               uint32_t tag, pb_wire_type_t wire_type);
    bool (*encode)(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_extension_t *extension);
    const void *arg;
} pb_extension_type_t;

In the normal case, the function pointers are NULL and the decoder and encoder use their internal implementations. The internal implementations assume that arg points to a pb_field_iter_t that describes the field in question.

To implement custom processing of unknown fields, you can provide pointers to your own functions. Their functionality is mostly the same as for normal callback fields, except that they get called for any unknown field when decoding.

pb_extension_t

Ties together the extension field type and the storage for the field value. For message structs that have extensions, the generator will add a pb_extension_t* field. It should point to a linked list of extensions.

typedef struct {
    const pb_extension_type_t *type;
    void *dest;
    pb_extension_t *next;
    bool found;
} pb_extension_t;
type Pointer to the structure that defines the callback functions.
dest Pointer to the variable that stores the field value (as used by the default extension callback functions.)
next Pointer to the next extension handler, or NULL for last handler.
found Decoder sets this to true if the extension was found.

PB_GET_ERROR

Get the current error message from a stream, or a placeholder string if there is no error message:

#define PB_GET_ERROR(stream) (string expression)

This should be used for printing errors, for example:

if (!pb_decode(...))
{
    printf("Decode failed: %s\n", PB_GET_ERROR(stream));
}

The macro only returns pointers to constant strings (in code memory), so that there is no need to release the returned pointer.

PB_RETURN_ERROR

Set the error message and return false:

#define PB_RETURN_ERROR(stream,msg) (sets error and returns false)

This should be used to handle error conditions inside nanopb functions and user callback functions:

if (error_condition)
{
    PB_RETURN_ERROR(stream, "something went wrong");
}

The msg parameter must be a constant string.

PB_BIND

This macro generates the pb_msgdesc_t and associated arrays, based on a list of fields in X-macro format. :

#define PB_BIND(msgname, structname, width) ...
msgname Name of the message type. Expects msgname_FIELDLIST macro to exist.
structname Name of the C structure to bind to.
width Number of words per field descriptor, or AUTO to use minimum size possible.

This macro is automatically invoked inside the autogenerated .pb.c files. User code can also call it to bind message types with custom structures or class types.

pb_encode.h

pb_ostream_from_buffer

Constructs an output stream for writing into a memory buffer. It uses an internal callback that stores the pointer in stream state field. :

pb_ostream_t pb_ostream_from_buffer(pb_byte_t *buf, size_t bufsize);
buf Memory buffer to write into.
bufsize Maximum number of bytes to write.
returns An output stream.

After writing, you can check stream.bytes_written to find out how much valid data there is in the buffer. This should be passed as the message length on decoding side.

pb_write

Writes data to an output stream. Always use this function, instead of trying to call stream callback manually. :

bool pb_write(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_byte_t *buf, size_t count);
stream Output stream to write to.
buf Pointer to buffer with the data to be written.
count Number of bytes to write.
returns True on success, false if maximum length is exceeded or an IO error happens.

NOTE: If an error happens, bytes_written is not incremented. Depending on the callback used, calling pb_write again after it has failed once may cause undefined behavior. Nanopb itself never does this, instead it returns the error to user application. The builtin pb_ostream_from_buffer is safe to call again after failed write.

pb_encode

Encodes the contents of a structure as a protocol buffers message and writes it to output stream. :

bool pb_encode(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, const void *src_struct);
stream Output stream to write to.
fields Message descriptor, usually autogenerated.
src_struct Pointer to the message structure. Must match fields descriptor.
returns True on success, false on any error condition. Error message is set to stream->errmsg.

Normally pb_encode simply walks through the fields description array and serializes each field in turn. However, submessages must be serialized twice: first to calculate their size and then to actually write them to output. This causes some constraints for callback fields, which must return the same data on every call.

pb_encode_ex

Encodes the message, with extended behavior set by flags:

bool pb_encode_ex(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, const void *src_struct, unsigned int flags);
stream Output stream to write to.
fields Message descriptor, usually autogenerated.
src_struct Pointer to the message structure. Must match fields descriptor.
flags Extended options, see below.
returns True on success, false on any error condition. Error message is set to stream->errmsg.

The options that can be defined are:

pb_get_encoded_size

Calculates the length of the encoded message.

bool pb_get_encoded_size(size_t *size, const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, const void *src_struct);
size Calculated size of the encoded message.
fields Message descriptor, usually autogenerated.
src_struct Pointer to the data that will be serialized.
returns True on success, false on detectable errors in field description or if a field encoder returns false.

Callback field encoders

The functions with names pb_encode_<datatype> are used when dealing with callback fields. The typical reason for using callbacks is to have an array of unlimited size. In that case, pb_encode will call your callback function, which in turn will call pb_encode_<datatype> functions repeatedly to write out values.

The tag of a field must be encoded first with pb_encode_tag_for_field. After that, you can call exactly one of the content-writing functions to encode the payload of the field. For repeated fields, you can repeat this process multiple times.

Writing packed arrays is a little bit more involved: you need to use pb_encode_tag and specify PB_WT_STRING as the wire type. Then you need to know exactly how much data you are going to write, and use pb_encode_varint to write out the number of bytes before writing the actual data. Substreams can be used to determine the number of bytes beforehand; see pb_encode_submessage source code for an example.

See Google Protobuf Encoding Format Documentation for background information on the Protobuf wire format.

pb_encode_tag

Starts a field in the Protocol Buffers binary format: encodes the field number and the wire type of the data.

bool pb_encode_tag(pb_ostream_t *stream, pb_wire_type_t wiretype, uint32_t field_number);
stream Output stream to write to. 1-5 bytes will be written.
wiretype PB_WT_VARINT, PB_WT_64BIT, PB_WT_STRING or PB_WT_32BIT
field_number Identifier for the field, defined in the .proto file. You can get it from field->tag.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

pb_encode_tag_for_field

Same as pb_encode_tag, except takes the parameters from a pb_field_iter_t structure.

bool pb_encode_tag_for_field(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_field_iter_t *field);
stream Output stream to write to. 1-5 bytes will be written.
field Field iterator for this field.
returns True on success, false on IO error or unknown field type.

This function only considers the PB_LTYPE of the field. You can use it from your field callbacks, because the source generator writes correct LTYPE also for callback type fields.

Wire type mapping is as follows:

LTYPEs Wire type
BOOL, VARINT, UVARINT, SVARINT PB_WT_VARINT
FIXED64 PB_WT_64BIT
STRING, BYTES, SUBMESSAGE, FIXED_LENGTH_BYTES PB_WT_STRING
FIXED32 PB_WT_32BIT

pb_encode_varint

Encodes a signed or unsigned integer in the varint format. Works for fields of type bool, enum, int32, int64, uint32 and uint64:

bool pb_encode_varint(pb_ostream_t *stream, uint64_t value);
stream Output stream to write to. 1-10 bytes will be written.
value Value to encode, cast to uint64_t.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

NOTE: Value will be converted to uint64_t in the argument. To encode signed values, the argument should be cast to int64_t first for correct sign extension.

pb_encode_svarint

Encodes a signed integer in the zig-zagged format. Works for fields of type sint32 and sint64:

bool pb_encode_svarint(pb_ostream_t *stream, int64_t value);

(parameters are the same as for pb_encode_varint

pb_encode_string

Writes the length of a string as varint and then contents of the string. Works for fields of type bytes and string:

bool pb_encode_string(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_byte_t *buffer, size_t size);
stream Output stream to write to.
buffer Pointer to string data.
size Number of bytes in the string. Pass strlen(s) for strings.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

pb_encode_fixed32

Writes 4 bytes to stream and swaps bytes on big-endian architectures. Works for fields of type fixed32, sfixed32 and float:

bool pb_encode_fixed32(pb_ostream_t *stream, const void *value);
stream Output stream to write to. 4 bytes will be written.
value Pointer to a 4-bytes large C variable, for example uint32_t foo;.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

pb_encode_fixed64

Writes 8 bytes to stream and swaps bytes on big-endian architecture. Works for fields of type fixed64, sfixed64 and double:

bool pb_encode_fixed64(pb_ostream_t *stream, const void *value);
stream Output stream to write to. 8 bytes will be written.
value Pointer to a 8-bytes large C variable, for example uint64_t foo;.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

pb_encode_float_as_double

Encodes a 32-bit float value so that it appears like a 64-bit double in the encoded message. This is sometimes needed when platforms like AVR that do not support 64-bit double need to communicate using a message type that contains double fields.

bool pb_encode_float_as_double(pb_ostream_t *stream, float value);
stream Output stream to write to. 8 bytes will be written.
value Float value to encode.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

pb_encode_submessage

Encodes a submessage field, including the size header for it. Works for fields of any message type.

bool pb_encode_submessage(pb_ostream_t *stream, const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, const void *src_struct);
stream Output stream to write to.
fields Pointer to the autogenerated message descriptor for the submessage type, e.g. MyMessage_fields.
src Pointer to the structure where submessage data is.
returns True on success, false on IO errors, pb_encode errors or if submessage size changes between calls.

In Protocol Buffers format, the submessage size must be written before the submessage contents. Therefore, this function has to encode the submessage twice in order to know the size beforehand.

If the submessage contains callback fields, the callback function might misbehave and write out a different amount of data on the second call. This situation is recognized and false is returned, but garbage will be written to the output before the problem is detected.

pb_decode.h

pb_istream_from_buffer

Helper function for creating an input stream that reads data from a memory buffer.

pb_istream_t pb_istream_from_buffer(const pb_byte_t *buf, size_t bufsize);
buf Pointer to byte array to read from.
bufsize Size of the byte array.
returns An input stream ready to use.

pb_read

Read data from input stream. Always use this function, don’t try to call the stream callback directly.

bool pb_read(pb_istream_t *stream, pb_byte_t *buf, size_t count);
stream Input stream to read from.
buf Buffer to store the data to, or NULL to just read data without storing it anywhere.
count Number of bytes to read.
returns True on success, false if stream->bytes_left is less than count or if an IO error occurs.

End of file is signalled by stream->bytes_left being zero after pb_read returns false.

pb_decode

Read and decode all fields of a structure. Reads until EOF on input stream.

bool pb_decode(pb_istream_t *stream, const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, void *dest_struct);
stream Input stream to read from.
fields Message descriptor, usually autogenerated.
dest_struct Pointer to message structure where data will be stored.
returns True on success, false on any error condition. Error message will be in stream->errmsg.

In Protocol Buffers binary format, end-of-file is only allowed between fields. If it happens anywhere else, pb_decode will return false. If pb_decode returns false, you cannot trust any of the data in the structure.

For optional fields, this function applies the default value and sets has_<field> to false if the field is not present.

If PB_ENABLE_MALLOC is defined, this function may allocate storage for any pointer type fields. In this case, you have to call pb_release to release the memory after you are done with the message. On error return pb_decode will release the memory itself.

pb_decode_ex

Same as pb_decode, but allows extended options.

bool pb_decode_ex(pb_istream_t *stream, const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, void *dest_struct, unsigned int flags);
stream Input stream to read from.
fields Message descriptor, usually autogenerated.
dest_struct Pointer to message structure where data will be stored.
flags Extended options, see below
returns True on success, false on any error condition. Error message will be in stream->errmsg.

The following options can be defined and combined with bitwise | operator:

If PB_ENABLE_MALLOC is defined, this function may allocate storage for any pointer type fields. In this case, you have to call pb_release to release the memory after you are done with the message. On error return pb_decode_ex will release the memory itself.

pb_release

Releases any dynamically allocated fields:

void pb_release(const pb_msgdesc_t *fields, void *dest_struct);
fields Message descriptor, usually autogenerated.
dest_struct Pointer to structure where data is stored. If NULL, function does nothing.

This function is only available if PB_ENABLE_MALLOC is defined. It will release any pointer type fields in the structure and set the pointers to NULL.

This function is safe to call multiple times, calling it again does nothing.

pb_decode_tag

Decode the tag that comes before field in the protobuf encoding:

bool pb_decode_tag(pb_istream_t *stream, pb_wire_type_t *wire_type, uint32_t *tag, bool *eof);
stream Input stream to read from.
wire_type Pointer to variable where to store the wire type of the field.
tag Pointer to variable where to store the tag of the field.
eof Pointer to variable where to store end-of-file status.
returns True on success, false on error or EOF.

When the message (stream) ends, this function will return false and set eof to true. On other errors, eof will be set to false.

pb_skip_field

Remove the data for a field from the stream, without actually decoding it:

bool pb_skip_field(pb_istream_t *stream, pb_wire_type_t wire_type);
stream Input stream to read from.
wire_type Type of field to skip.
returns True on success, false on IO error.

This function determines the amount of bytes to read based on the wire type. For PB_WT_STRING, it will read the length prefix of a string or submessage to determine its length.

Callback field decoders

The functions with names pb_decode_<datatype> are used when dealing with callback fields. The typical reason for using callbacks is to have an array of unlimited size. In that case, pb_decode will call your callback function repeatedly, which can then store the values into e.g. filesystem in the order received in.

For decoding numeric (including enumerated and boolean) values, use pb_decode_varint, pb_decode_svarint, pb_decode_fixed32 and pb_decode_fixed64. They take a pointer to a 32- or 64-bit C variable, which you may then cast to smaller datatype for storage.

For decoding strings and bytes fields, the length has already been decoded and the callback function is given a length-limited substream. You can therefore check the total length in stream->bytes_left and read the data using pb_read.

Finally, for decoding submessages in a callback, use pb_decode and pass it the SubMessage_fields descriptor array.

pb_decode_varint

Read and decode a varint encoded integer.

bool pb_decode_varint(pb_istream_t *stream, uint64_t *dest);
stream Input stream to read from. 1-10 bytes will be read.
dest Storage for the decoded integer. Value is undefined on error.
returns True on success, false if value exceeds uint64_t range or an IO error happens.

pb_decode_varint32

Same as pb_decode_varint, but limits the value to 32 bits:

bool pb_decode_varint32(pb_istream_t *stream, uint32_t *dest);

Parameters are the same as pb_decode_varint. This function can be used for decoding lengths and other commonly occurring elements that you know shouldn’t be larger than 32 bit. It will return an error if the value exceeds the uint32_t datatype.

pb_decode_svarint

Similar to pb_decode_varint, except that it performs zigzag-decoding on the value. This corresponds to the Protocol Buffers sint32 and sint64 datatypes. :

bool pb_decode_svarint(pb_istream_t *stream, int64_t *dest);

(parameters are the same as pb_decode_varint)

pb_decode_fixed32

Decode a fixed32, sfixed32 or float value.

bool pb_decode_fixed32(pb_istream_t *stream, void *dest);
stream Input stream to read from. 4 bytes will be read.
dest Pointer to destination int32_t, uint32_t or float.
returns True on success, false on IO errors.

This function reads 4 bytes from the input stream. On big endian architectures, it then reverses the order of the bytes. Finally, it writes the bytes to dest.

pb_decode_fixed64

Decode a fixed64, sfixed64 or double value. :

bool pb_decode_fixed64(pb_istream_t *stream, void *dest);
stream Input stream to read from. 8 bytes will be read.
dest Pointer to destination int64_t, uint64_t or double.
returns True on success, false on IO errors.

Same as pb_decode_fixed32, except this reads 8 bytes.

pb_decode_double_as_float

Decodes a 64-bit double value into a 32-bit float variable. Counterpart of pb_encode_float_as_double. :

bool pb_decode_double_as_float(pb_istream_t *stream, float *dest);
stream Input stream to read from. 8 bytes will be read.
dest Pointer to destination float.
returns True on success, false on IO errors.

pb_make_string_substream

Decode the length for a field with wire type PB_WT_STRING and create a substream for reading the data.

bool pb_make_string_substream(pb_istream_t *stream, pb_istream_t *substream);
stream Original input stream to read the length and data from.
substream Storage for a new substream that has limited length. Filled in by the function.
returns True on success, false if reading the length fails.

This function uses pb_decode_varint to read an integer from the stream. This is interpreted as a number of bytes, and the substream is set up so that its bytes_left is initially the same as the length, and its callback function and state the same as the parent stream.

pb_close_string_substream

Close the substream created with pb_make_string_substream.

void pb_close_string_substream(pb_istream_t *stream, pb_istream_t *substream);
stream Original input stream to read data from.
substream Substream to close

This function copies back the state from the substream to the parent stream, and throws away any unread data from the substream. It must be called after done with the substream.

pb_common.h

pb_field_iter_begin

Begins iterating over the fields in a message type:

bool pb_field_iter_begin(pb_field_iter_t *iter, const pb_msgdesc_t *desc, void *message);
iter Pointer to destination pb_field_iter_t variable.
desc Autogenerated message descriptor.
message Pointer to message structure.
returns True on success, false if the message type has no fields.

pb_field_iter_next

Advance to the next field in the message:

bool pb_field_iter_next(pb_field_iter_t *iter);
iter Pointer to pb_field_iter_t previously initialized by pb_field_iter_begin.
returns True on success, false after last field in the message.

When the last field in the message has been processed, this function will return false and initialize iter back to the first field in the message.

pb_field_iter_find

Find a field specified by tag number in the message:

bool pb_field_iter_find(pb_field_iter_t *iter, uint32_t tag);
iter Pointer to pb_field_iter_t previously initialized by pb_field_iter_begin.
tag Tag number to search for.
returns True if field was found, false otherwise.

This function is functionally identical to calling pb_field_iter_next() until iter.tag equals the searched value. Internally this function avoids fully processing the descriptor for intermediate fields.

pb_validate_utf8

Validates an UTF8 encoded string:

bool pb_validate_utf8(const char *s);
s Pointer to beginning of a string.
returns True, if string is valid UTF-8, false otherwise.

The protobuf standard requires that string fields only contain valid UTF-8 encoded text, while bytes fields can contain arbitrary data. When the compilation option PB_VALIDATE_UTF8 is defined, nanopb will automatically validate strings on both encoding and decoding.

User code can call this function to validate strings in e.g. custom callbacks.