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Protobuf (Protocol Buffer) is a data serializing protocol like a JSON or XML. But unlike them, the protobuf is not for humans, serialized data is compiled bytes and hard for the human reading.

Why is it not so popular yet?

Because protobuf is not so as simple as Google says. Protobuf must preprocess from .proto files to the sources of your programming language. Unfortunately, for some platforms, the protoc generator produces a very impractical code and it’s too hard to debug it. Also protobuf is hard to develop when services are so many and we have more than one team in development, because it’s not a human reading standard.

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