Repository Summary

Checkout URI
VCS Type git
VCS Version master
Last Updated 2021-08-16
CI status No Continuous Integration
Tags No category tags.
Contributing Help Wanted (0)
Good First Issues (0)
Pull Requests to Review (0)


Name Version
variant 0.1.7
variant_msgs 0.1.7
variant_topic_tools 0.1.7




Topic tools for treating ROS messages as type-erased variants.

Author(s): Ralf Kaestner

Maintainer: Ralf Kaestner

Licsense: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)

Operating system(s): Debian-based Linux, Mac OS X

Package PPA: Not available


This project provides a partially templated C++ API for treating ROS messages as type-erased variants. Similar to the Python API of ROS, it thus renders ROS messages and their members accessible without the requirement for including any message headers at compile time. The goal of this functionality is to encourage developers to contribute more C++ packages which are intended to inspect and operate on any message type.

This project further provides a test package which practically demonstrates API usage by example.


The maintainers of this project do not yet provide binary packages.

Building from source

This project may be built from source using catkin.

Here, we assume you intend to build the project for the ROS distribution named ROS_DISTRO.

Installing build dependencies

The build dependencies of this project are available from the standard package repositories of recent Ubuntu and ROS releases. To install them, simply use the command

sudo apt-get install ros-ROS_DISTRO-roscpp, ros-ROS_DISTRO-std-msgs

Assuming that you have cloned the project sources into PROJECT_DIR, you may attempt to build this project using catkin as follows:

  • Create the directory structure for your catkin workspace by issuing
  mkdir -p CATKIN_WS_DIR/src

  • Assuming that your ROS environment has been set up properly, initialize the catkin workspace using the command
  catkin_init_workspace CATKIN_WS_DIR/src

  • Individually link the directories containing the project's package source trees into your catkin workspace source directory through
  ln -sf PROJECT_DIR/roscpp_nodewrap* CATKIN_WS_DIR/src

  • Switch into the catkin workspace directory by

  • In the catkin workspace directory, run

to start the build

API documentation

This project does not yet build its API documentation. Some basic documentation is however inlined with the interface definitions and can thus be found in the source headers.

Feature requests and bug reports

If you would like to propose a feature for this project, please consider contributing or send a feature request to the project authors. Bugs may be reported through the project's issue page.

Further reading

For additional information of the Robot Operating System (ROS), please refer to the official ROS documentation.

Build Status

Devel Job Status

Indigo Jade Kinetic
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Release Job Status

Indigo Jade Kinetic
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variant_msgs Build Status Build Status Build Status
variant_topic_tools Build Status Build Status Build Status


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