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Once written, a protobuf specification can be compiled using protoc to a variety of implementations in different languages (e.g. python, c++, go). That's great. But to compile that generated code, you need a protobuf development library and, if I am not mistaken, a runtime is required as well.

Is there a way to generate the implementation code in a pure-language, self-contained fashion? So, for example, I would compile my implementation to C++ and Python, distribute it and people could use it by just using the standard library.

If not, are there frameworks (similar to protobuf in principle) that, given a specification, produce a serialization code which is stand alone and does not require other non-standard libraries for a given language?

This question stems from the fact that recently I had to use protobuf on different systems and each one had a different development library available. Should the specification be compiled on each system separately? What if the compilers have different versions?

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An "all platforms" target would, by necessity, have to offer a least-common-denominator API, which means it would be unfriendly to use from most languages, and not idiomatic. So no: the usual approach is to prefer platform/language-specific tools which can each make use of the most appropriate APIs and techniques for that platform/language in the API.

The compiler version being different shouldn't matter - the underlying serialization format hasn't changed at all in the time that protobuf has been publicly abailable. It'll still work - as long as the language parser supports the syntax version you're using.

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