It is difficult for delimited processors and lsr to fully support snapshots, because the tools need to reload the full inode information into the memory. It could be infeasible for fsimages in productions (16G fsimages are quite common).
The motivation of delimited processor is to run data analysis on the fsimage. The design of the PB-based fsimage strives to flatten the hierarchy so that it is feasible to map the analysis problems into JOIN queries.
Therefore, there might be more values to create a tool that reads the PB format directly and dumps the data directly into Hive. Such a tool avoids converting data between protobuf, text, and the database format, which can significantly boost the efficiency of the analysis pipeline.
Putting the data also allows getting the stats with little amount of code. For example, the following query can check the usages of different users in a particular directory:
select sum(filesize) from inode where inode.parentId = 'foo' group by user