Boost logo

Boost :

From: Michel André (michel.andre_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-04-23 19:11:07

Don G wrote:
>>I don't see connector as 1 to 1 concept. You can use a
>>connector to establish several connections to the same
>>address or endpoint if that is needed. The connector
>>pattern can be used to model fail over between
>>different endpoints providing the same servcie, by
>>having a service_connector implementation that wraps
>>and coordinates several alternate connectors to
>>different end points over potentially different
>>transports. This also hides/abstracts the fail over
>>strategy new endpoint selection in a nice way from
>>the protocol handler and stream.
> I see this as something useful, but at higher level than what I am
> proposing. That may be just because I have never needed anything like
> it. ;) In all my own uses of connection establishment, it has been
> one-off connections. Occasionally, I need to reconnect to the same
> server, but I have always done that with the address object in my
> proposal.

I use it almost in every system since almost all systems I develop and
connect to is fault tolerant and need failover mechanics. But the
majority of uses outside my world might be one off connections ;). But I
have no problem writing in for the one of connections.

connector svc(address("tcp:/"));
stream_ptr stream = svc.connect();

> > The scenario I am describing goes along with the above statements on
> single use: I want to do an HTTP get. I first connect, then write,
> then read. If I decide to cancel, especially with threads in the mix
> and using blocking style, I must know that I am blocked on the
> connector, not the stream. But this is not so easy to "know". I
> cannot hold a lock while I am blocked on connect. What this does is
> create a race: the entity wanting to cancel cannot know if the
> blocking call has just finished or not. Which is why I don't like
> sync programming anymore! ;)

Well in your documentation you stated that cancel would be safe to call
several times on the same object so I guess.
if (stream)

Would work. Reusing of reopening of connectors and acceptors also makes
sense but not for streams.

> I see the granularity as not getting along well with the desire to
> cancel a specific operation that required a connection. This is
> especially true for reuse of the connector in the environment I just
> described.
> I hope this clarifies my concern. I really feel that a granular
> cancel feature has to be part of the design. Preferably in a way that
> is MT friendly. :)

I can understand it better now.

Also having a generic address format that can be used to create streams
and other objects from the correct network from some kind of registry.
Or the address as factory as you describe in your design could void some
of the arguments for a connector in some cases.

>>Seperating the connection establishment would make the
>>stream more stateless and have fewer concerns and it
>>separates responsibility keeping the interfaces easier.
>>I also doesn't imply inheritance as is the case whit a
>>connectable stream. You also don't have to handle
>>questions such as if a stream can be connected again
>>after it is closed and so forth (and i guess this could
>>be different in different implementations).
> The stream still has many states; this eliminates only one. Also, I
> don't see any (good<g>) reason to reuse streams. That would be
> particularly bad in a MT scenario.

Anyways it's quite easy to implement a connector on the approach you
have so I have no real problem with it as it is proposed. And we are
maybe discussing different levels and I kind of saw your package as
combined level1/0 providing no low level access.

>>So basically layer 0 should support this portable subset.
> Well, I would mostly agree, but I don't think everyone will. One of
> the goals several people have expressed is the ability to use level 0
> wrappers in non-portable ways.

Isn't that just saying the handle should be accessible. And you should
be able to attach and release an underlying handle from the objects at
this level.

> What I am proposing is that there be a level 1 that provides a less
> bumpy, more easily handled, but conceptually very similar interface.
> This was another reason I don't have a connector object; that concept
> has no association with layer 0.

Fair enough.

> On Windows, you cannot increase the fd_set size limit, but I think
> you are correct on Unix that you can increase it. I have never tried
> because I wasn't sure if that would require kernel recompile<g> and
> it wouldn't solve my problem even if it were possible.

According to the docs you should be able to increase it on windows as well.

Snipped from
"The variable FD_SETSIZE determines the maximum number of descriptors in
a set. (The default value of FD_SETSIZE is 64, which can be modified by
defining FD_SETSIZE to another value before including Winsock2.h.)"

Ace also allows you to manipulate it.

> I would not want to do the thread cascade approach (ala Cygwin). I
> think a much better approach is what I am proposing: hide this detail
> completely. I am still scratching around in my head for a way to
> allow true single threaded use (similar to Peter's net::poll
> suggestion).

Quite hard without arbitrary limits ;) or exposing the dispatcher, and
having it fail if more streams than allowed is connected to it. Or one
could do some threading behind the back and context switch the
notifications back via some kind of queue where pool gets it's callbacks
to dispatch from.

>>Yes the rules must be really clear, and the library
>>should probably never hold any kind of lock when
>>calling a user defined callback since that i
>>genreally very error prone and deadlock creating, but
>>this also makes it really hard to implement ;) but
>>also interesting.
> Yes, quite "interesting" :) And you can remove the "probably" between
> the "should" and the "never"... ;)

Yes didn't want to sound to harsh but youre right. And usually I try to
put the notifications as late as possible in the dispatcher and don't
touch object after the notification if the object gets deleted during
the callback, but thats not a problem with your approach since youre
using shared pointers and could take a strong reference when dispatching
a callback and by that mean don't get the object deleted.


Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at