Changes Announced on August 9, 2023

Changes announced for Protocol Buffers on August 9, 2023.

.NET support policy

The Protobuf team supports .NET in two ways:

  • Generation of C# code by protoc
  • The Google.Protobuf NuGet package, which provides runtime support for the generated code, as well as reflection and other facilities

The support policy for these has previously been unclear, particularly in terms of which .NET runtimes are supported. From August 2023 onwards, support will be provided in accordance with the Google Open Source support policy for .NET. We expect this to mean that some old versions of .NET will be dropped from the Google.Protobuf package without taking a new major version.

Protobuf is relatively unusual within Google projects supporting .NET in two respects: Firstly, as we support generating C# which we expect customers to compile, we need to consider language versions as well as runtime versions. The current policy does not cover this aspect of support, so we will publish a separate policy for this. Secondly, while Unity is not a first-class supported platform, we understand that Protobuf is commonly used on Unity, and we will intend to avoid breaking that usage as far as is reasonably possible.

More details will be published when a new set of target platforms has been decided for Google.Protobuf. This will be at least one month ahead of the release in which it will take effect, in order to provide time for community feedback. For now, we recommend that users review the support policy.