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From: Phil Endecott (spam_from_boost_dev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-08-17 12:48:35

Andrey Semashev wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> I have just spent a few minutes comparing an ad-hoc FSM implementation
>> with an implementation using the proposed library. The example that
>> I've used is the USB device state machine, which I recently had to
>> understand for an embedded application, and I've put an image of the
>> state graph here:
> [snip]
>> Here is my ad-hoc implementation (note that I haven't tried to even
>> compile any of this code):
> [snip code]
> Well, your code is not an FSM. I mean, the usb_device behavior does not
> in any way depend on its state. I could simply remove the state variable
> and have the same result.

If I had realised sooner how degenerate that particular example was
going to turn out I would have chosen something else. But I realised
too late, and I thought it was better to use a real application than a
contrived one. I will try to come up with another example before the
end of the review period so that we can discuss the real problem and
not be sidetracked by this.

I do hope that others will also post some code.

>> Some of the
>> verbosity would go if I put the common events (e.g. PowerOff) into a
>> base class, but that adds verbosity of its own.
> Why? Base classes for states help a lot to reduce code redundancy. I've
> attached a slightly modified version of the code above, with base
> classes and library-provided events (this allows you not to define event
> classes, which also reduces the code). See usb_fsm_state_based.cpp.

Unfortunately I'm unable to easily read attachments because these links:

> A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
> Name: usb_fsm_state_based.cpp
> Type: text/x-c++src
> Size: 2214 bytes
> Desc: not available
> URL: <>

still don't work. I'll try to find your code in one of the list archives.

> IMO, undefined behavior usually is a design flaw, and this case is
> clearly one of the "usual" ones. Otherwise, like I said, you don't need
> FSM, because its whole purpose is to _define_ the behavior.

I disagree. If I have a guarantee of how the environment will behave
it is unnecessary to check it, except perhaps in some sort of debug
mode. Picking up on one of Dave's comments, do you put a test in every
function that takes a pointer to test whether you have been passed a
null? Of course, when the behaviour of the environment is not
guaranteed then I do need to check. If the scope of the proposed
library is intended to be limited to applications where the environment
is untrusted, please make a note of that in the documentation. Anyway,
I will make sure that my next example is of the "untrusted environment" type.



P.S. Many thanks to Dave A for fielding a whole series of messages
while I was wasting my Sunday morning writing my tax return....

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