[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [Next Generation ROS] Rosbag…

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Author: Discourse.ros.org
To: ros-users
Subject: [ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [Next Generation ROS] Rosbag Backward Compatibility

Several years ago I did a bit of work on developing and implementing a possible new format for ROSBag heavily based on the Matroska container format (.mkv). It uses EBML and is very flexible, supporting pretty much any data and metadata you can dream of, chapters, streaming, chunking across multiple files, etc. It has compatibility with the tools you can use to modify and manage Matroska files. You could even conceivably store a ROSBag 2 format file in this container format, although I doubt that would be very efficient or worthwhile.

Although I finished the format design, I never finished the implementation (changes at work got in the way). The half-finished implementation is still online:


The specification is probably more useful than half an implementation:


I'm not suggesting that this format is the way ROSBag should go in ROS 2. Never finishing the implementation meant I never tested its viability and speed, for example. But I thought I'd mention it if anyone is interested. @iluetkeb was also involved in this work.

@iluetkeb also did work in his previous lab with a variation of the ROSBag format. I'm sure he will chime in with the results of that work.

At the same time as the above work, I also looked at HDF5. I haven't looked at it since, but back then my impression was that it's great for certain kinds of data, like lots of raw numbers coming from things like strain sensors and temperature sensors, but it was not an ideal fit for more structurally complex data. However, that may have changed and the library and tools were good. Being able to make use of existing tools would be nice. The people at KULeuven have done a lot of work with HDF5.

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