Shawn M Moore > Announcements-0.01 > Announcements

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NAME ^

Announcements - communicate across the object network

DESCRIPTION ^

This Announcements library implements a relatively simple extension of the observer pattern for permitting the observers of an event to communicate amongst eachother and with the publisher of the event. Many implementations of the observer pattern use fixed strings as events, but Announcements uses objects. Indeed, any object can be announced, and each observer can call whichever methods on that object that it wishes.

EXAMPLE ^

The hello world of announcements is observing a value that changes. So let's walk through such an implementation. You'll probably be adding announcements to existing code only once you discover that you need the observer pattern, so let's start with something whose values changes and then add announcement logic to it.

    package NetHack::Character;
    use Moose;

    has x => (is => 'rw', isa => 'Num');
    has y => (is => 'rw', isa => 'Num');

    # teleport to a random spot on the map
    sub teleport {
        my $self = shift;
        my $new_x = rand();
        my $new_y = rand();
        $self->x($new_x);
        $self->y($new_y);
    }

Observation

Say we want to track whether the character has ever teleported. Because teleportation can be used to escape from difficult fights, you could have a special challenge for beating the game without teleporting. We could implement this by changing the teleport function.

    sub teleport {
        my $self = shift;
        my $new_x = rand();
        my $new_y = rand();
        $self->x($new_x);
        $self->y($new_y);
        $self->has_ever_teleported(1);
    }

But instead let's write it as an announcement so that we can decouple the teleportation logic from the conduct logic. The first step is to declare an announcement class that represents the "we are about to teleport" event.

    package NetHack::Announcement::Teleporting;
    use Moose;

    # that's all!

Then we can announce objects of this class in teleport.

    sub teleport {
        my $self = shift;

        $self->announce('NetHack::Announcement::Teleporting');

        my $new_x = rand();
        my $new_y = rand();
        $self->x($new_x);
        $self->y($new_y);
    }

Finally we set up an observer that flips the has_ever_teleported bit upon teleport.

    $character->add_subscription(
        criterion => 'NetHack::Announcement::Teleporting',
        action    => sub {
            my ($announcement, $character) = @_;
            $character->has_ever_teleported(1);
        },
    );

Communication

Teleports always send you to a random spot on the map. But say you want to implement an artifact that grants teleport control. If the character is holding this artifact and is teleported, then the player can pick the teleport's destination.

    package NetHack::Item::MasterKeyOfThievery;
    use Moose;
    with 'NetHack::Item::Artifact';

    sub 

Some levels in our game forbid teleportation for various reasons. Let's say we want to implement that behavior as an announcement to avoid polluting the character's teleport method with "are we on a level that blocks teleportation?" logic.

    package NetHack::Announcement::Teleporting;
    use Moose;

    has current_x => (is => 'ro', isa => 'Num', required => 1);
    has current_y => (is => 'ro', isa => 'Num', required => 1);

    has new_x     => (is => 'rw', isa => 'Num', default => sub { rand() });
    has new_y     => (is => 'rw', isa => 'Num', default => sub { rand() });

This announcement class permits observers to select the destination coordinates. If none of the observers select coordinates, then random coordinates (like our original teleport method) will be used.

Our observer in this case is a level, which forbids teleports. We can implement this pretty easily by just setting the new coordinates to the current coordinates.

    package NetHack::Level::Sokoban;
    use Moose;
    extends 'NetHack::Level';

    sub enter {
        my $self = shift;
        $self->subscribe('NetHack::Announcement::Teleporting' => sub {
            my $announcement = shift;

            # block the teleport
            $announcement->new_x($announcement->current_x);
            $announcement->new_y($announcement->current_y);
        });
    }

Now to make our teleport method use this announcement.

    sub teleport {
        my $self = shift;

        my $announcement = NetHack::Announcement::Teleporting->new(
            current_x => $self->x,
            current_y => $self->y,
        );

        $self->announce($announcement);

        $self->x($announcement->new_x);
        $self->y($announcement->new_y);
    }

Now when we enter a Sokoban level, it will subscribe to the character's teleporting announcements and block them by forcing them to teleport to the same spot.

Ordering

The previous examples when taken together form a number of issues related to ordering. This kind of problem crops up often when you have very flexible systems.

teleport control -> block conduct -> block

Alternatively in the general case, you can subclass Announcements::Subscription and Announcements::SubscriptionRegistry to add ordering logic to the subscription sending. You could add a numeric priority to each subscription, then in the registry push an announcement to each subscription in priority order.

SEE ALSO ^

http://sartak.org/talks/yapc-na-2011/announcing-announcements/

http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/userblogs/vbykov/blogView?entry=3310034894

http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/userblogs/vbykov/blogView?searchCategory=Announcements%20Framework

http://www.bofh.org.uk/2008/06/29/announcing-announcements-for-ruby

https://github.com/pdcawley/announcements

AUTHOR ^

Shawn M Moore, sartak@gmail.com

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE ^

Copyright 2010-2011 Shawn M Moore.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

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