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JGirs Build Status

This is an IR server, compatible with Girs. It can be considered as IrScrutinizer as server, as it builds on the same components as IrScrutinizer: the renderer IrpMaster, the hardware structures of HarcHardware, the Lirc subset Jirc, the Girr support.

JGirs implements the "server" in my architecture. (With an presently not yet implemented option, it may be possible for an instance instead to fulfill the "listener" role.


The program should be kept fairly "dumb", basically executing simple commands. It should not be extended with, e.g. embedded script language, macros or the such. (This is instead the domain of a home automation server.)

Also, the usage of IrScrutinizer and JGirs should not overlap.

The configuration file

At start, the program reads a configuration file. This is an XML file consisting of declarations of variables, modules, remotes data bases, and deployed hardware. An XML scheme is planned, but at the time of this writing not yet implemented.


A variable in JGirs has as type either string (default), int, or boolean. It is declared either in the Java code or in the configuration file. The value can be changed interactively in the server. Some of the functions use the values of these variables.

Loading of JNI native libraries

It is possible from the configuration file to load JNI libraries, that the program or the dynamically loaded modules or hardware drivers may need. This is done with the jni-lib element, allowed as immediate child of the root element, and as immediate child of the module and hardware-item elements. The jni-lib must have either the libpath or the library attribute (but not both) set: the first one contains the complete path to the jni lib (including both absolute directory path and file extension) (to be loaded with load, while the second one contains the bare library name (without directory and extension), to be loaded with loadLibrary.

Dynamic loading

Modules are "dynamically loaded" as per above. not belonging to the program proper. The class attribute denotes the full Java class name to the class that is to be loaded. Of course, this must be loadable in the Java classpath. As arguments, within the XML element argument, the arguments (type and actual value), of the constructor used, are given.


A number of different hardware can be deployed by the server. The hardware devices are identified by a unique name, subsequently used by the server to identify the device. The program will maintain three variables transmitDevice, captureDevice, and receiveDevice, which should contain the name of the default devices used for transmitting, capturing, and receiving.

If an empty element <immediate-open/> is contained in the <hardware-item> element, the hardware will be initialized immediately at start; otherwise it will be initialized when needed.


The functionality of the program is implemented in modules. Modules, other than the standard ones, are declared in the configuration file. The full Java class name is given, as well as the arguments to the constructor, as described above. Version 0.1.0 comes with two "example" extra modules, OpenClose (class name org.harctoolbox.jgirs.OpenClose), allowing for opening and closing of hardware as desired (otherwise it is done implicitly, when the need arise), and Dummy (classname org.example.jgirs.Dummy) adding some truly remarkable functionality :-).

"Named remotes": databases of remote commands

The program will read "configuration files" defining IR commands with names. Typically, these corresponds to a consumer electronics device, and its known commands, with a name in plain English, like play. Files in Girr format, Lircd, and CSV files, e.g. from IRDB. These are accessed through URLs, so not only local files can be used, but also, e.g., Internet http resources. See the examples in the supplied configuration file.

A remote is here nothing but a set of commands. It is identified by its name. A command is an IR signal identified by its a name.


As of version 0.1.0, the program is strictly single threaded. Many of the classes are implemented as singleton classes (i.e. can be instantiated only once).

There are three ways of running the program, described next. In the future, more program modes will likely be implemented, as well as multi-threaded operation.

One-shot command mode

A command, including its parameters, can be given at the command line. It will then be executed, and the result printed on standard output. It is possible to give several commands by separating them with a semicolon (";"). Note that the latter must likely be escaped from the shell.

Interactive (Readline) mode

If the program is started without arguments, it goes into interactive mode, reading one line of command, evaluating it, and printing the result to standard out ("read-eval-print"). This continues until the user issues the quit command, or enters the end-of-line (Normally Ctrl-D on Unix/Linux, Ctrl-Z on Msdos/Windows). If Java Readline and Readline Commander are installed, advanced command line editing will be available.

TCP server mode

If given the --tcp option, the program will start as TCP server, listening for connections on a given TCP port (default 33333). (To try it out, just use the telnet program.) This will accept a client session on the port, accepting a new one as soon as one has been closed. This is compatible both with the Girs client of IrScrutinizer, and with Lirc, using the experimental version of the Girs driver.


All commands consists of text only. The command name, and in most cases its arguments, can be abbreviated as long as the abbreviation (as prefix) matches exactly one command. All matching of command and arguments are being done case insensitively. Almost all commands return exactly one line. If the command succeeded, but without delivering any useful information, the response is "OK". If the command fails, the response is "ERROR", possibly followed by some more precise error information. If timeout is received, the response is "." (a period). Some command, like remote, deliver a list as answer; these are given as one line, with the list elements separated by white spaces (), except for when they contain white space themselves. In that case, the elements will be enclosed by double quotes (").

Commands can be abbreviated as long as the entered fragments is the prefix of exactly one command.

Next, the currently implemented commands in the standard modules are described:


Without arguments, captures am IR signal using the current default device contained in the variable captureDevice. With an argument, tries to use that as the name of the capturing hardware.

The signal is output in raw format, consisting of a frequency measurement and a number of durations in micro seconds. There is no possibility for example to decode the signal. For this, instead the receive format should be used, or alternatively, IrScrutinizer should be used.


Prints a list of the available commands.


Without argument, prints the list of transmitters available on the current default transmitting device. With argument, returns the transmitters on that device instead, if possible.


Returns the license


Returns a list of the loaded modules


Without arguments, all parameters and their values are listed. With one argument, the value of that parameter is listed. With two arguments, the first one is used as the parameter name, which is assigned the value of the second parameter. Parameter names and values can abbreviated as long as sensible.


Lists all the protocols known to the renderer.


Ends the session.


Without arguments, captures am IR signal using the current default device contained in the variable captureDevice. With an argument, tries to use that as the name of the capturing hardware. The variable receiveFormat determines how the received signals are presented:

  • raw: the raw signal, i.e. its durations in micro seconds, are output.
  • ccf: the signal is output in the Pronto Hex format.
  • protocolparameter: it is attempted to decode the signal as a known protocol with its parameters. Presently, decodeir is invoked for this.
  • namedcommand: it is attempted to identify the received signal as one already present in the named command data base.


Without arguments, lists the names of the known remotes. With one argument, lists the commands of the remote given as argument.


Synonym for transmit raw, for compatibility with AGirs.


With one argument, sets the transmitter of the default transmitting device to the value of the argument. With two arguments, transmitter of the the transmitting device given as the first argument is set to the second argument.


This command transmits an IR signal using the current value of transmitDevice. It has four subcommand, which designates how the arguments are to be interpreted.

  • transmit raw nosends frequency intro_length repeat_length ending_length <timing_data>

Sends a raw signal, i.e., determined by its timing data.

  • transmit hex nosends

Sends a signal entered as Pronto hex.

  • transmit protocolparameter nosends protocol

Renders and sends a signal using the given protocol and parameters. The protocols recognized depends on the renderer used. They can be listed by the command protocols.

  • transmit irp nosends irpprotocol_as_string

Renders and sends a signal using the given protocol in IRP form.

  • transmit name nosends remotename commandname


Without arguments, returns the version of the program. Can also be given an argument, which should correspond to the name of a connected hardware item. In that case, the version number of that hardware item is returned.