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README.md

What is SObjectizer?

SObjectizer is one of a few cross-platform and OpenSource "actor frameworks" for C++. But SObjectizer supports not only Actor Model, but also Publish-Subscribe Model and CSP-like channels. The goal of SObjectizer is significant simplification of development of concurrent and multithreaded applications in C++.

SObjectizer allows the creation of a concurrent app as a set of agent-objects which interact with each other through asynchronous messages. It handles message dispatching and provides a working context for message processing. And allows to tune those things by supplying various ready-to-use dispatchers.

What distinguishes SObjectizer?

Maturity. SObjectizer is based on ideas that have been put forward in 1995-2000. And SObjectizer itself is being developed since 2002. SObjectizer-5 is continuously evolved since 2010.

Stability. From the very beginning SObjectizer was used for business-critical applications, and some of them are still being used in production. Breaking changes in SObjectizer are rare and we approach to them very carefully.

Cross-platform. SObjectizer runs on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Android.

Easy-to-use. SObjectizer provides easy to understand and easy to use API with a lot of examples in the SObjectizer's distributive and a plenty of information in the project's Wiki.

Free. SObjectizer is distributed under BSD-3-CLAUSE license, so it can be used in development of proprietary commercial software for free.

Show me the code!

HelloWorld example

This is a classical example "Hello, World" expressed by using SObjectizer's agents:

#include <so_5/all.hpp>

class hello_actor final : public so_5::agent_t {
public:
	using so_5::agent_t::agent_t;

	void so_evt_start() override {
		std::cout << "Hello, World!" << std::endl;
		// Finish work of example.
		so_deregister_agent_coop_normally();
	}
};

int main() {
	// Launch SObjectizer.
	so_5::launch([](so_5::environment_t & env) {
			// Add a hello_actor instance in a new cooperation.
			env.register_agent_as_coop( env.make_agent<hello_actor>() );
		});

	return 0;
}

Ping-Pong example

Let's look at more interesting example with two agents and message exchange between them. It is another famous example for actor frameworks, "Ping-Pong":

#include <so_5/all.hpp>

struct ping {
	int counter_;
};

struct pong {
	int counter_;
};

class pinger final : public so_5::agent_t {
	so_5::mbox_t ponger_;

	void on_pong(mhood_t<pong> cmd) {
		if(cmd->counter_ > 0)
			so_5::send<ping>(ponger_, cmd->counter_ - 1);
		else
			so_deregister_agent_coop_normally();
	}

public:
	pinger(context_t ctx) : so_5::agent_t{std::move(ctx)} {}

	void set_ponger(const so_5::mbox_t mbox) { ponger_ = mbox; }

	void so_define_agent() override {
		so_subscribe_self().event( &pinger::on_pong );
	}

	void so_evt_start() override {
		so_5::send<ping>(ponger_, 1000);
	}
};

class ponger final : public so_5::agent_t {
	const so_5::mbox_t pinger_;
	int pings_received_{};

public:
	ponger(context_t ctx, so_5::mbox_t pinger)
		:	so_5::agent_t{std::move(ctx)}
		,	pinger_{std::move(pinger)}
	{}

	void so_define_agent() override {
		so_subscribe_self().event(
			[this](mhood_t<ping> cmd) {
				++pings_received_;
				so_5::send<pong>(pinger_, cmd->counter_);
			});
	}

	void so_evt_finish() override {
		std::cout << "pings received: " << pings_received_ << std::endl;
	}
};

int main() {
	so_5::launch([](so_5::environment_t & env) {
			env.introduce_coop([](so_5::coop_t & coop) {
					auto pinger_actor = coop.make_agent<pinger>();
					auto ponger_actor = coop.make_agent<ponger>(
							pinger_actor->so_direct_mbox());

					pinger_actor->set_ponger(ponger_actor->so_direct_mbox());
				});
		});

	return 0;
}

All agents in the code above are working on the same work thread. How to bind them to different work threads?

It is very simple. Just use an appropriate dispatcher:

int main() {
	so_5::launch([](so_5::environment_t & env) {
			env.introduce_coop(
				so_5::disp::active_obj::make_dispatcher(env).binder(),
				[](so_5::coop_t & coop) {
					auto pinger_actor = coop.make_agent<pinger>();
					auto ponger_actor = coop.make_agent<ponger>(
							pinger_actor->so_direct_mbox());

					pinger_actor->set_ponger(ponger_actor->so_direct_mbox());
				});
		});

	return 0;
}

Pub/Sub example

SObjectizer supports Pub/Sub model via multi-producer/multi-consumer message boxes. A message sent to that message box will be received by all subscribers of that message type:

#include <so_5/all.hpp>

using namespace std::literals;

struct acquired_value {
	std::chrono::steady_clock::time_point acquired_at_;
	int value_;
};

class producer final : public so_5::agent_t {
	const so_5::mbox_t board_;
	so_5::timer_id_t timer_;
	int counter_{};

	struct acquisition_time final : public so_5::signal_t {};

	void on_timer(mhood_t<acquisition_time>) {
		// Publish the next value for all consumers.
		so_5::send<acquired_value>(
				board_, std::chrono::steady_clock::now(), ++counter_);
	}

public:
	producer(context_t ctx, so_5::mbox_t board)
		:	so_5::agent_t{std::move(ctx)}
		,	board_{std::move(board)}
	{}

	void so_define_agent() override {
		so_subscribe_self().event(&producer::on_timer);
	}

	void so_evt_start() override {
		// Agent will periodically recive acquisition_time signal
		// without initial delay and with period of 750ms.
		timer_ = so_5::send_periodic<acquisition_time>(*this, 0ms, 750ms);
	}
};

class consumer final : public so_5::agent_t {
	const so_5::mbox_t board_;
	const std::string name_;

	void on_value(mhood_t<acquired_value> cmd) {
		std::cout << name_ << ": " << cmd->value_ << std::endl;
	}

public:
	consumer(context_t ctx, so_5::mbox_t board, std::string name)
		:	so_5::agent_t{std::move(ctx)}
		,	board_{std::move(board)}
		,	name_{std::move(name)}
	{}

	void so_define_agent() override {
		so_subscribe(board_).event(&consumer::on_value);
	}
};

int main() {
	so_5::launch([](so_5::environment_t & env) {
			auto board = env.create_mbox();
			env.introduce_coop([board](so_5::coop_t & coop) {
					coop.make_agent<producer>(board);
					coop.make_agent<consumer>(board, "first"s);
					coop.make_agent<consumer>(board, "second"s);
				});

			std::this_thread::sleep_for(std::chrono::seconds(4));
			env.stop();
		});

	return 0;
}

BlinkingLed example

All agents in SObjectizer are finite-state machines. Almost all functionality of hierarchical finite-states machines (HSM) are supported: child states and handlers inheritance, on_enter/on_exit handlers, state timeouts, deep- and shallow state history, except orthogonal states.

This is a very simple example that demonstrates an agent that is HSM:

#include <so_5/all.hpp>

using namespace std::literals;

class blinking_led final : public so_5::agent_t {
	state_t off{ this }, blinking{ this },
		blink_on{ initial_substate_of{ blinking } },
		blink_off{ substate_of{ blinking } };

public :
	struct turn_on_off : public so_5::signal_t {};

	blinking_led(context_t ctx) : so_5::agent_t{std::move(ctx)} {
		this >>= off;

		off.just_switch_to<turn_on_off>(blinking);

		blinking.just_switch_to<turn_on_off>(off);

		blink_on
			.on_enter([]{ std::cout << "ON" << std::endl; })
			.on_exit([]{ std::cout << "off" << std::endl; })
			.time_limit(1250ms, blink_off);

		blink_off
			.time_limit(750ms, blink_on);
	}
};

int main()
{
	so_5::launch([](so_5::environment_t & env) {
		so_5::mbox_t m;
		env.introduce_coop([&](so_5::coop_t & coop) {
				auto led = coop.make_agent< blinking_led >();
				m = led->so_direct_mbox();
			});

		const auto pause = [](auto duration) {
			std::this_thread::sleep_for(duration);
		};

		std::cout << "Turn blinking on for 10s" << std::endl;
		so_5::send<blinking_led::turn_on_off>(m);
		pause(10s);

		std::cout << "Turn blinking off for 5s" << std::endl;
		so_5::send<blinking_led::turn_on_off>(m);
		pause(5s);

		std::cout << "Turn blinking on for 5s" << std::endl;
		so_5::send<blinking_led::turn_on_off>(m);
		pause(5s);

		std::cout << "Stopping..." << std::endl;
		env.stop();
	} );

	return 0;
}

CSP-like Ping-Pong example

SObjectizer allows to write concurrent applications even without agents inside. Only plain threads and CSP-like channels can be used.

This is plain-thread implementation of Ping-Pong example (please note that main() is not exception-safe):

#include <so_5/all.hpp>

struct ping {
	int counter_;
};

struct pong {
	int counter_;
};

void pinger_proc(so_5::mchain_t self_ch, so_5::mchain_t ping_ch) {
	so_5::send<ping>(ping_ch, 1000);

	// Read all message until channel will be closed.
	so_5::receive( so_5::from(self_ch).handle_all(),
		[&](so_5::mhood_t<pong> cmd) {
			if(cmd->counter_ > 0)
				so_5::send<ping>(ping_ch, cmd->counter_ - 1);
			else {
				// Channels have to be closed to break `receive` calls.
				so_5::close_drop_content(self_ch);
				so_5::close_drop_content(ping_ch);
			}
		});
}

void ponger_proc(so_5::mchain_t self_ch, so_5::mchain_t pong_ch) {
	int pings_received{};

	// Read all message until channel will be closed.
	so_5::receive( so_5::from(self_ch).handle_all(),
		[&](so_5::mhood_t<ping> cmd) {
			++pings_received;
			so_5::send<pong>(pong_ch, cmd->counter_);
		});

	std::cout << "pings received: " << pings_received << std::endl;
}

int main() {
	so_5::wrapped_env_t sobj;

	auto pinger_ch = so_5::create_mchain(sobj);
	auto ponger_ch = so_5::create_mchain(sobj);

	std::thread pinger{pinger_proc, pinger_ch, ponger_ch};
	std::thread ponger{ponger_proc, ponger_ch, pinger_ch};

	ponger.join();
	pinger.join();

	return 0;
}

Want to know more?

More information about SObjectizer can be found in the corresponding section of the project's Wiki.

Limitations

SObjectizer is an in-process message dispatching framework. It doesn't support distributed applications just out of box. But external tools and libraries can be used in that case. Please take a look at our mosquitto_transport experiment: https://bitbucket.org/sobjectizerteam/mosquitto_transport-0.6

Obtaining and building

SObjectizer can be checked out from BitBucket. Archives with SObjectizer's source code can be downloaded from BitBucket or from SourceForge.

There are two ways for building SObjectizer. The first one by using Mxx_ru tool. The second one by using CMake.

NOTE. Since v.5.5.15.2 there is a support of Android platform. Building for Android is possible by CMake only. See the corresponding section below.

SObjectizer can also be installed and used via vcpkg and Conan dependency managers. See the appropriate sections below.

SObjectizer-5.6 requires C++17!

The 5.6-branch of SObjectizer requires C++17.

If you need support for C++14 or C++11 try to look to older versions of SObjectizer on SourceForge. Or contact stiffstream to discuss porting of SObjectizer-5.6 to older C++ standards.

Building via Mxx_ru

NOTE. This is a standard way for building SObjectizer. This way is used in SObjectizer development process.

To build SObjectizer it is necessary to use Ruby language and Mxx_ru tool. Install Ruby and then install Mxx_ru via RubyGems command:

gem install Mxx_ru

If you already have Mxx_ru installed please update to at least version 1.6.14.6:

gem update Mxx_ru

SObjectizer can be obtained from Mercurial repository on BitBucket:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/sobjectizerteam/sobjectizer

To build SObjectizer:

cd sobjectizer/dev
ruby build.rb

Static and shared library for SObjectizer will be built. Libraries will be placed into target/release subdirectory.

If you want to build just shared library:

cd sobjectizer/dev
ruby so_5/prj.rb

Or if you want to build just static library:

cd sobjectizer/dev
ruby so_5/prj_s.rb

To build SObjectizer with all tests and samples:

cd sobjectizer/dev
ruby build_all.rb

Please note that under FreeBSD it could be necessary to define LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable. And the actual build command sequence under FreeBSD could be as follows:

cd sobjectizer/dev
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=target/release
ruby build_all.rb

To build html-format documentation for SObjectizer the Doxygen tool is necessary. If it is installed then:

cd sobjectizer/doxygen
doxygen

Generated html-files will be located in sobjectizer/dev/doc/html.

NOTE. If you do not specify MXX_RU_CPP_TOOLSET by youself then Mxx_ru will try to detect your C++ toolset automatically. If you want to use C++ compiler which is not default in your system please define MXX_RU_CPP_TOOLSET environment variable manually. It could look like:

export MXX_RU_CPP_TOOLSET="clang_linux compiler_name=clang++-6 linker_name=clang++-6"

More information about tuning Mxx_ru for your needs you can find in the corresponding documentation.

Building via CMake

To build SObjectizer via CMake it is necessary to have CMake and some knowledge of how to use it. The following action is just a demonstration. For more detailed info about cmake build system for SObjectizer see dev/cmake/CmakeQuickHowto.txt

To get and build SObjectizer under Linux/FreeBSD in command line run:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/sobjectizerteam/sobjectizer
cd sobjectizer
mkdir cmake_build
cd cmake_build
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=target -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ../dev
cmake --build . --config Release
cmake --build . --config Release --target install

Those commands will create all necessary Makefile, then build SObjectizer. If it necessary to build examples and tests too, use

cmake -DBUILD_ALL=ON -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=target ../dev

When 'make install' finished './target' will contain two subfolders './bin' with samples and './lib' with shared libso.5.x.x.so

CMake build system currently supports this options:

  • SOBJECTIZER_BUILD_STATIC. Enable building SObjectizer as a static library [default: ON]
  • SOBJECTIZER_BUILD_SHARED. Enable building SObjectizer as a shared library [default: ON]
  • BUILD_ALL. Enable building examples and tests [default: OFF]
  • BUILD_EXAMPLES. Enable building examples [default: OFF]
  • BUILD_TESTS. Enable building tests [default: OFF]

Please note that if BUILD_ALL or BUILD_EXAMPLES or BUILD_TESTS is turned ON then both SOBJECTIZER_BUILD_STATIC and SOBJECTIZER_BUILD_SHARED must be turned ON. It means that if SOBJECTIZER_BUILD_STATIC or SOBJECTIZER_BUILD_SHARED is turned OFF then BUILD_ALL/BUILD_EXAMPLES/BUILD_TESTS all must be turned OFF.

To build SObjectizer under Windows by MS Visual Studio 2013 from command line:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/sobjectizerteam/sobjectizer
cd sobjectizer
mkdir cmake_build
cd cmake_build
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=target -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -G "Visual Studio 15 2017" ../dev
cmake --build . --config Release
cmake --build . --config Release --target install

If it necessary to build examples too, use BUILD_ALL in cmake invocation:

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=target -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DBUILD_ALL=ON -G "Visual Studio 15 2017" ../dev

Since v.5.5.24 SObjectizer provides sobjectizer-config.cmake files. These files are automatically installed into /lib/cmake/sobjectizer subfolder. It allows to use SObjectizer via CMake's find_package command.

Building for Android

Building for Android is possible via a rather fresh Android NDK or CrystaX NDK.

Building with Android NDK

You need Android SDK and Android NDK installed in your system. As well as an appropriate version of CMake. You have also need properly set environment variables ANDROID_HOME, ANDROID_NDK. Then you can issue the following commands:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/sobjectizerteam/sobjectizer
cd sobjectizer
mkdir cmake_build
cd cmake_build
cmake -DBUILD_ALL -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=target -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
	  -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=${ANDROID_NDK}/build/cmake/android.toolchain.cmake \
	  -G Ninja \
	  -DANDROID_ABI=arm64-v8a \
	  -DANDROID_NDK=${ANDROID_NDK} \
	  -DANDROID_NATIVE_API_LEVEL=23 \
	  -DANDROID_TOOLCHAIN=clang \
	  ../dev
cmake --build . --config=Release
cmake --build . --config=Release --target install

Building with CrystaX NDK

You need CrystaX NDK v.10.4.0 or higher already installed in your system. CMake is used for building SObjectizer:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/sobjectizerteam/sobjectizer
cd sobjectizer
mkdir cmake_build
cd cmake_build
export NDK=/path/to/the/crystax-ndk
cmake -DBUILD_ALL -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=result -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=$NDK/cmake/toolchain.cmake -DANDROID_ABI=arm64-v8a ../dev
make
make test
make install

Using C++ Dependency Managers

Using via vcpkg

To use SObjectizer via vcpkg it is necessary to do the following steps.

Install sobjectizer package:

vcpkg install sobjectizer

Add the following lines into your CMakeLists.txt file:

find_package(sobjectizer CONFIG REQUIRED)
target_link_libraries(your_target sobjectizer::SharedLib) # or sobjectizer::StaticLib

Using via Conan

Installing SObjectizer And Adding It To conanfile.txt

To use SObjectizer via Conan it is necessary to do the following steps:

Add the corresponding remote to your conan:

conan remote add stiffstream https://api.bintray.com/conan/stiffstream/public

Add SObjectizer to conanfile.txt of your project:

[requires]
sobjectizer/5.6.0@stiffstream/testing

It also may be necessary to specify shared option for SObjectizer. For example, for build SObjectizer as a static library:

[options]
sobjectizer:shared=False

Install dependencies for your project:

conan install SOME_PATH --build=missing

Adding SObjectizer To Your CMakeLists.txt

Please note that SObjectizer should be added to your CMakeLists.txt via find_package command:

...
include(${CMAKE_BINARY_DIR}/conanbuildinfo.cmake)
conan_basic_setup()

find_package(sobjectizer CONFIG REQUIRED)
...
target_link_libraries(your_target sobjectizer::SharedLib) # Or sobjectizer::StaticLib

License

SObjectizer is distributed under 3-clause BSD license. For license information please see LICENSE file.

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