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From: Andreas Huber (ah2003_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-06-02 14:00:11

Rob Stewart wrote:
>>>> Is it? In the current design the state machine object owns the
>>>> state objects (it does so for good reasons). How can you destruct
>>>> the state machine object without destructing the state objects
>>>> (and thus inevitably also exiting them and terminating the state
>>>> machine as a result)?
>>> You're still collapsing separate concepts.
>> The current implementation does. I don't think I did with the above
>> reasoning.
> I read "in the current can you destruct [sic] the
> state machine object without destructing [sic] the state objects
> (and thus...exiting them,..." as clearly linking the ideas.
> (Points 2 and 4, above.)

I think you misunderstood why this particular discussion stared:

Andreas Huber wrote:
>> Furthermore, it
>> seems as though, if you want that behavior, it's trivial to get it by
>> wrapping the FSM in a derived class whose destructor finalizes the
>> state machine.
> Yes, but only at the cost of making the current interface (and
> implementation) more complex (we'd need to have at least a separate
> exit() function, right?).

IIRC, with "that behavior" Dave meant that a state machine is terminated on
destruction. The rest of the argument then is about whether an interface
change is necessary or not (and I still don't see how it could possibly be
done without introducing exit()). But this isn't relevant anymore anyway,
see below.

> If destruction of a state machine involved no exit actions or
> transitions, but merely released memory and other resources, and
> similarly, if destruction of state objects involved no actions or
> transitions, but merely released resources, then management of
> those objects is simplified. The library can impose upon such
> objects that no transitions or actions are permitted. This could
> be handled by tracking a Boolean that indicates whether the FSM
> was terminated and disallowing any further activity or by simply
> saying, "I told you so," when things go wrong due to violating
> that design tenet.

You've lost me here. Can you please rephrase what you mean with this?

> If termination of a state machine was a specific action -- either
> external by calling terminate() -- or internal via a state
> transition, the resulting FSM seems to me to be more like one
> would hand code. Is that better? I think so, but I'm no
> expert. I think that's what another poster was arguing.

I'm actually unsure about this too. It could well be that state_machine<>
will lose the terminate() function.

> If exit of a state was separate from destruction, it could throw
> an exception. At that point, the state machine could be declared
> unstable and could be forcibly terminated. (Remember that
> Boolean I mentioned?) IOW, you could require that all exceptions
> be handled specifically via an exception handler installed by the
> client to turn execeptions into transitions -- I think that's
> essentially what you've described thus far. Any unhandled
> exception can be treated like C++ does it: it calls terminate().
> (In this case, I mean terminate() for the FSM so that nothing
> more may occur.)

terminate() is the wrong word for that. In FSM terminology it is clearly
defined what termination means.

> With your approach, since construction implied
> entering the initial state, that isn't necessarily possible.

No. There's state_machine<>::initiate().

> Sure, you may need to make changes to accommodate the ideas being
> discussed, but let's focus on the ideas for now. If the ideas
> prove beneficial, even if you had good reasons to dismiss them
> previously, then shouldn't we seriously consider them?

Darryl Green convinced me that exit() (or an equivalent feature that allows
the user to separate termination from destruction) is sometimes necessary.

> Ideally, we need more FSM experts to participate in this
> discussion in order to bring their experience to bear on the
> discussion. It seems rather one sided right now (the experienced
> FSM person on the side of the current design, and the less
> experienced on the side that's questioning some design
> decisions).

I think Darryl and Eugene are quite experienced FSM folks...



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