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# Thrift Tutorial
# Mark Slee (
# This file aims to teach you how to use Thrift, in a .thrift file. Neato. The
# first thing to notice is that .thrift files support standard shell comments.
# This lets you make your thrift file executable and include your Thrift build
# step on the top line. And you can place comments like this anywhere you like.
# Before running this file, you will need to have installed the thrift compiler
# into /usr/local/bin.
* The first thing to know about are types. The available types in Thrift are:
* bool Boolean, one byte
* byte Signed byte
* i16 Signed 16-bit integer
* i32 Signed 32-bit integer
* i64 Signed 64-bit integer
* double 64-bit floating point value
* string String
* binary Blob (byte array)
* map<t1,t2> Map from one type to another
* list<t1> Ordered list of one type
* set<t1> Set of unique elements of one type
* Did you also notice that Thrift supports C style comments?
// Just in case you were wondering... yes. We support simple C comments too.
* Thrift files can reference other Thrift files to include common struct
* and service definitions. These are found using the current path, or by
* searching relative to any paths specified with the -I compiler flag.
* Included objects are accessed using the name of the .thrift file as a
* prefix. i.e. shared.SharedObject
include "shared.thrift"
* Thrift files can namespace, package, or prefix their output in various
* target languages.
namespace cpp tutorial
namespace java tutorial
namespace php tutorial
namespace perl tutorial
* Thrift lets you do typedefs to get pretty names for your types. Standard
* C style here.
typedef i32 MyInteger
* Thrift also lets you define constants for use across languages. Complex
* types and structs are specified using JSON notation.
const i32 INT32CONSTANT = 9853
const map<string,string> MAPCONSTANT = {'hello':'world', 'goodnight':'moon'}
* You can define enums, which are just 32 bit integers. Values are optional
* and start at 1 if not supplied, C style again.
enum Operation {
ADD = 1,
* Structs are the basic complex data structures. They are comprised of fields
* which each have an integer identifier, a type, a symbolic name, and an
* optional default value.
* Fields can be declared "optional", which ensures they will not be included
* in the serialized output if they aren't set. Note that this requires some
* manual management in some languages.
struct Work {
1: i32 num1 = 0,
2: i32 num2,
3: Operation op,
4: optional string comment,
* Structs can also be exceptions, if they are nasty.
exception InvalidOperation {
1: i32 what,
2: string why
* Ahh, now onto the cool part, defining a service. Services just need a name
* and can optionally inherit from another service using the extends keyword.
service Calculator extends shared.SharedService {
* A method definition looks like C code. It has a return type, arguments,
* and optionally a list of exceptions that it may throw. Note that argument
* lists and exception lists are specified using the exact same syntax as
* field lists in struct or exception definitions.
void ping(),
i32 add(1:i32 num1, 2:i32 num2),
i32 calculate(1:i32 logid, 2:Work w) throws (1:InvalidOperation ouch),
* This method has a oneway modifier. That means the client only makes
* a request and does not listen for any response at all. Oneway methods
* must be void.
oneway void zip()
* That just about covers the basics. Take a look in the test/ folder for more
* detailed examples. After you run this file, your generated code shows up
* in folders with names gen-<language>. The generated code isn't too scary
* to look at. It even has pretty indentation.