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The package rosidl_runtime_py provides some utilities for converting messages

Some of them may be useful for your use case:

  • message_to_ordereddict https://github.com/ros2/rosidl_runtime_py/blob/22cd67c09d948a7a67615fee410c8c22d036fdb5/rosidl_runtime_py/convert.py#L155-LL156
  • message_to_csv: https://github.com/ros2/rosidl_runtime_py/blob/22cd67c09d948a7a67615fee410c8c22d036fdb5/rosidl_runtime_py/convert.py#L97

Is it safe to rely on _fields_and_field_types in future ROS distributions or is it considered private and it is not reliable to access outside the class?

My understanding is that these are considered private and thus discouraged for use outside the class.