I've been reading through the API threads here and considering the options. To
be honest, I worry a lot about the scope of these discussions and that there's a
tremendous amount of work before we have a useful end result.
I wonder if we can solve this problem by adding another layer of abstraction...
As Adam is currently building a schema for VDSM's XML-RPC, we could use the QAPI
code generators to build a libvdsm that provided a programmatic C interface for
the XML-RPC interface.
It would take some tweaking, but this could be made a supportable C interface.
The rules for having a supportable C interface are basically:
1) Never change function signatures
2) Never remove functions
3) Always allocate structures in the library and/or pad
4) Only add to structures, never remove or reorder
5) Provide flags that default to zero to indicate that fields/features are not
6) Always zero-initialize structures
Having a libvdsm would allow the transport to change over time w/o affecting
end-users. There are lots of good tools for documenting C APIs and dealing with
versioning of C APIs.
While we can start out with a schema-generated API, over time, we can implement
libvdsm in an open-coded fashion allowing old APIs to be reimplemented in terms
of new APIs.
From a compatibility perspective, libvdsm would be fully backwards compatible
with old versions of VDSM (so it would keep XML-RPC support forever) but may
require new versions of libvdsm to talk to new versions of VDSM. That would
allow for APIs to be deprecated within VDSM without breaking old clients.
I think this would be an incremental approach to building a supportable API
today while still giving the flexibility to make changes in the long term.
And it should be fairly easy to generate a JNI binding and also port
ovirt-engine to use an interface like this (since it already uses the XML-RPC API).
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