18 Mar 2013 dan   » (Master)

The long way(land) round

The latest round of psadan hacking was motivated by two goals

  • that it would be good to actually remember the globals we’re receiving when we send get_registry to the magic registry object
  • that if we’re going to ask for a callback when all the globals are notified, we should wait for it before continuing.

We went down a couple or three dead ends on our way to this goal, but eventually we settled on creating an agent responsible for listening to the connection (I called it channel, in the absence of any better ideas) and dispatching (using a handle-message multimethod) to some code appropriate for each kind of message we’re receiving.


  • multimethods the clojure way are pretty versatile: you can dispatch on pretty much any property – or derived property – of the function argument, not just on type. In our case that’s the interface name and the message (event) name:
     (defmulti handle-message 
       (fn [conn m] 
         [(:name (:interface m)) (:message m)]))
     (defmethod handle-message [:wl_registry :global] [conn m]
       (let [[name interface version] (:args m)]
         (conn/register-global conn name interface version)))
     (defmethod handle-message [:wl_callback :done] [conn m]
       (let [object (conn/get-object  conn (:object-id m))
    	 promise (:promise object)]
         (when promise
           (deliver promise m))))
     (defmethod handle-message :default [conn m]
       (println [“unknown message” (:name (:interface m)) (:message m)]))
  • we handle the “tell me when you’re done” requirement with a promise. The get-globals code adds an unfulfilled promise to the callback object it creates, then once it has sent out its messages it derefs the promise , causing it to wait until something delivers the promise. That something is the handle-message implementation for wl_callback, for which, see above.
  • we were trying to map handle-message onto each of the messages parsed out of the buffer, but not doing anything with the result. Given that map is lazy, this meant our handle-message code was for the most part not being called. Surrounding the map form with a dorun fixed this.
  • you send work to an agent with (send fn ...) or (send-off fn ...) which invoke the fn with the current state of the agent, not with the agent itself. Which is fine but offers no facility for the agent to send work to itself – happily, the global/magic/special variable *agent*, which evaluates to the currently running agent if any is, works nicely for this purpose
    (defn listen [conn]
      (let [buf (conn/read-buffer conn)
            messages (buf/parse-messages buf conn :events)]
        (dorun (map #(handle-message conn %) messages)))
      (send-off agent listen)
    (send-off channel listen)
  • the ‘name’ field in a global is (confusingly) a number, and (more confusingly still) not an object id. Object number 3 in our client is a wl_callback object, whereas the global named 3 is .. well, let’s check …
    psadan.core> (def channel (chan/open-channel “/home/dan/private/wayland-0”))
    psadan.core> (chan/get-registry channel)
    ;; [debug output elided]
    {:object-id 3, :bytes 12, :interface {:index 2, :name :wl_callback, :requests (), :events ({:index 0, :name :done, :summary nil, :args ({:name “serial”, :type :uint, :interface nil})}), :enums ()}, :message :done, :args (-115)}
    psadan.core> (get @(:globals @channel) 3)
    {:interface :screenshooter, :version 1}

Next up? At some point we need to decide whether sending messages should be done by the channel or whether it’s OK to carry on doing that directly in whatever thread we happen to be in. But what would be much more fun is to see if we can actually render a window…

Syndicated 2013-03-18 21:07:47 from diary at Telent Netowrks

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