Remy Chibois > Pots-0.01 > Pots::Tutorial

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NAME ^

Pots::Tutorial - Perl ObjectThreads tutorial

DESCRIPTION ^

This document contains some examples that show typical usage of the Perl ObjectThreads classes (or "Pots" for short).

The idea behind Pots was to be able to use Perl ithreads in an object-oriented manner, which led to Pots::Thread. Then it would be nice to communicate with these threads using messages and message queues. Pots::Message and Pots::MessageQueue were born. What about the desire for inter-thread method calls ? No matter how painful that was to play with shared variables, Pots::Thread::MethodClient and Pots::Thread::MethodServer came out of the dark.

Enough talking, show me the code !

SIMPLE THREAD ^

First, let's create a simple class derived from Pots::Thread.

    package MyThread;

    use strict;
    use warnings;

    use base qw(Pots::Thread);

    sub run {
        my $self = shift;

        print "Hello there, I'm thread #", $self->tid(), "\n";
    }

    1;

    package main;

    my $th = MyThread->new();
    $th->start();
    sleep(5);
    $th->stop();

The important thing to note are:

- You must call "start()" and "stop()" for the thread to start and stop.

MESSAGES ^

Now, we're going to use messaging to communicate with our thread. It's easy, you call "postmsg()" to send a message, and "getmsg()" to read a message. Each thread object has two message queues, one for sending and one for receiving. The two methods will automatically select the right queue, depending the context (parent or child thread) from which they are called.

When you use messaging, it is important to handle special "control" messages. For the moment, the only important message is the "quit" message, sent when you call "stop()" on the thread object.

Let's see an example.

    package MyThread;

    use strict;
    use warnings;

    use base qw(Pots::Thread);

    sub run {
        my $self = shift;
        my $msg;
        my $quit = 0;

        while (!$quit) {
            $msg = $self->getmsg();

            for ($msg->type()) {
                if (/quit/) {
                    $quit = 1;
                } else {
                    print "Got a message of type ", $msg->type(), "\n";
                }
            }
        }
    }

    1;

    package main;

    use Pots::Message;

    my $th = MyThread->new();
    $th->start();

    my $msg = Pots::Message->new('MyMessage');
    $th->postmsg($msg);

    sleep(5);
    $th->stop();

Messages are simple objects. They have a type which is set by the first argument to "new()" or by the "type()" method. You can then attach any data to the message using the "set()" method. See Pots::Message for further information.

METHOD SERVER AND CLIENT ^

The Pots::Thread::MethodServer is a class derived from Pots::Thread. It is used to expose a class to other threads and allow you to call methods of this class using local method calls, that is transparently. It is similar to RPCs.

The following example will show you how to define and use a simple server.

    use strict;
    use warnings;

    use threads;
    use threads::shared;

    use Pots::Thread::MethodServer;

    $|=1;

    # Class that will be exposed
    package Some::Class;

    use base qw(Pots::SharedObject);

    sub method1 {
        my $self = shift;

        print "method1 called with ", join(' ', @_), "\n";

        return 42;
    }

    1;

    package main;

    my $ms = Pots::Thread::MethodServer->new(cclass => 'Some::Class');
    $ms->start() or die "MethodServer failed to start\n";

    my $cli = $ms->client();

    my $ret = $cli->method1("foo", 1234, "bar");
    print "MAIN: ret = $ret\n";

    sleep(5);
    $ms->stop();

First, we start by defining a simple class, "Some::Class", to be exposed by the method server.

Next we create a method server object, specifying the class to expose, and start it.

Finally, the special proxy object, as returned by method server's "client()" method, will behave exactly the same as an object of class "Some::Class" except that it will trap any method calls and forward them to the method server. The server will then call the specified method on the real object and forward the results back to the proxy object and to your program.

AUTHOR and COPYRIGHT ^

Remy Chibois <rchibois at free.fr>

Copyright (c) 2004 Remy Chibois. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

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