On 05.08.2017 13:37, Tanu Kaskinen wrote:
On Fri, 2017-08-04 at 15:37 +0200, Georg Chini wrote:
This patch adds a new feature to the core which allows to exchange
messages between objects. An object can register/unregister a message
handler with pa_core_message_handler_{register, unregister}() while
any other object can send a message to the handler using the
pa_core_send_message() function. A message has 5 arguments (apart
from passing the core):

recipient: The name of the message handler that will receive the message
message: message command
message_parameters: A string containing additional parameters
message_data: void pointer to some parameter structure, can be used
               as alternative to message_parameters
response: Pointer to a response string that will be filled by the
           message handler. The caller is responsible to free the string.

The patch is a precondition for the following patches that also allow
clients to send messages to pulseaudio objects.

Because not every message handler should be visible to clients, a flag
was added to the handler structure which allows to mark a handler as
public or private.

There is no restriction on object names, except that a handler name
always starts with a "/". The intention is to use a path-like syntax,
for example /core/sink_1 for a sink or /name/instances/index for modules.
The exact naming convention still needs to be agreed.

Message groups are also implemented, so that a handler can subscribe
to a message group using pa_core_message_handler_group_[un]subscribe()
to receive messages sent to the group. To distinguish group and handler
names, group names lack the leading "/". Some of the code used to
implement the message groups was adapted from hook-list.c. Message
groups are created/deleted implicitely on subscription/unsubscription.

The messaging interface can serve as a full replacement for the current
hook system with several advantages:
- no need to change header files when a new handler/group is implemented
- slightly simpler registration interface
- multi-purpose message handlers that can handle multiple events
- mesage handlers may also be accessible from the client side
We agree that it's good to allow clients to send messages to modules.
Unfortunately, in this patch you're assuming that we'll also replace
hooks with the same system. Can we please keep things simple and do one
change at a time? I'm not enthusiastic about replacing hooks, and I'd
rather move on with the client message passing before getting consensus
on the hook stuff.

For reference, here's a list of unnecessary (from pure client message
passing point of view) things I can gather from the commit message:

- void pointer argument in message handlers
- public/private flag
- message groups (signals would seem like a better fit for the purpose

Possibly I am only using the wrong words. Let me put it like that:
My intention is not to replace the hooks but to incorporate them
into a more general concept. I even used a lot of the code and
put it in the new message context. The functionality of the hooks
is a subset of the messages concept and is fully preserved.
So by replacing hooks with messages, nothing would be lost
(at least not intentionally), only the interface would change.
Take a look at the second patch of the series for an example.

The only disadvantage I can think of is that there is one more
lookup step required compared to the hooks when finding
the right handler.

Perhaps you have an example for something that can be
done with the hooks that would not be possible with the
message interface. If so, please let me know. Maybe then
I can understand your concerns better.

Just to make one point clear again: I am not saying in the
commit message that the hooks should be replaced, I am
merely stating that the code has the ability to do so. So
from my perspective we don't need any consensus on
what to do with the hooks. You only have to accept a
parallel mechanism.

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