Java Implementation of "Classical" Flow-Based Programming (FBP)
General web site for "classical" FBP:
Latest release of JavaFBP:
javafbp-4.1.0 (Package qualifier changed from
In computer programming, flow-based programming (FBP) is a programming paradigm that defines applications as networks of "black box" processes, which exchange data across predefined connections by message passing, where the connections are specified externally to the processes. These black box processes can be reconnected endlessly to form different applications without having to be changed internally. FBP is thus naturally component-oriented.
FBP is a particular form of dataflow programming based on bounded buffers, information packets with defined lifetimes, named ports, and separate definition of connections.
JavaFBP Syntax and Component API:
Promoted to Maven central - do http://search.maven.org/#search%7Cga%7C1%7Cjavafbp .
Javadoc can also be browsed at http://jpaulm.github.io/javafbp/ (as of v3.0.8)
There is also a small GitHub project called
javafbp-websockets, which contains two generalized components supporting WebSockets ( https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/WebSockets_API ), and a simple test component and network - it can be found at https://github.com/jpaulm/javafbp-websockets .
The project requires Gradle for building (tested with version 2.0). You can download the corresponding package from the following URL: http://www.gradle.org
Windows and Linux users should follow the installation instructions on the Maven website.
OSX users (using Brew, http://brew.sh) can install Maven by executing the following command:
brew install gradle
Eclipse IDE Integration
You can generate Eclipse project using the following mvn command:
If you already created an Eclipse project you can run:
gradle cleanEclipse Eclipse
You need to install a Gradle plugin for Eclipse as explained here:
Then import a generated project in Eclipse, right (ctrl for OSX) click on the project in Eclipse -> Configure -> Convert to Gradle Project. After the conversion you can Right (ctrl for OSX) click on the project -> Gradle -> Task Quick Launcher and type
You may have to go to the project Properties and select Java Build Path/Source; remove whatever is there and select
JavaFBP/src/main/java; then close Eclipse, and reopen it.
Building and/or running from command line
The latest jar file can simply be downloaded from the latest release, or it can be rebuilt , by running the following command:
As a result a
javafbp-x.x.x.jar file will be created in the
build/libs directory. It will include the JavaFBP core (runtime) and all the examples from the source code (sub-package
resourcekit is now in the hierarchy, as of version v4.0.1 .
For running any of the examples
cd to your
javafbp folder, and use the following command:
java -cp build/libs/javafbp-x.x.x.jar com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.resourcekit.examples.networks.<Class name of the network>
jpaulmorrison if version is 4.1.0 or later.
java -cp build/libs/javafbp-x.x.x.jar com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.resourcekit.examples.networks.TestIPCounting
To run one of your own classes, add
.; in front of
build/, and make sure your current directory is set to the one containing the highest qualification level in the chosen package.
In *nix, replace the
Building/viewing Component Attributes List
JavaFBPCompAttrs, has been added to the JavaFBP GitHub project to build a list of the component attributes for any specified list of JavaFBP component packages. The bat file,
JavaFBPCompAttrs.bat can be found in
Mke sure you run
gradle build to have the necessary
JavaFBPCompAttrs.class file generated.
As delivered on GitHub, the
bat file looks like this:
javadoc -doclet com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.doclets.JavaFBPCompAttrs -docletpath target/classes -sourcepath src/main/java com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.audio com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.io com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.misc com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.routing com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.swing com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.text
The directories to be scanned can be seen following
-sourcepath and its operand - change to taste, in your copy!
To run the
bat file, set your current directory to your
javafbp folder. Then run
src\main\resources\javafbpcompattrs.bat . The output will be found in
C:\Temp\JavaFBPCompAttrs.html. Open with your favorite browser.
Not all JavaFBP component attributes have been filled in as yet, but these will be expanded as time allows.
Here is a sample section of the output (generated by
JavaFBPCompAttrs). It is HTML, so the various headings actually have different font sizes.
com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.core.components.io WriteToSocket ComponentDescription value - "Writes a stream of packets to a socket" InPort value - "IN" description - "Packets to be written" type - java.lang.String.class InPort value - "PORT" description - "Port name" type - java.lang.String.class OutPort value - "OUT" optional - true description - "Output port, if connected" type - java.lang.String.class MustRun
Running a test
Here is a simple command-line test that can be run to test that everything is working.
In the project directory, enter
java -cp build/libs/javafbp-x.x.x.jar com.jpaulmorrison.fbp.resourcekit.examples.networks.MergeandSort
Here is a picture of MergeandSort, drawn using DrawFBP:
This network contains 4 processes:
- 2 occurrences of GenerateTestData,
- a Sort process - a very simple-minded Sort, which can only handle up to 9,999 information packets
- a text display component, which invokes Java Swing to display the sorted data in a scroll pane.
The outputs of the two GenerateTestData processes are merged on a "first come, first served" basis. During the run you should see a scroll pane with the sorted data scrolling down.
At the end of the run, you should see:
Run complete. Time: x.xxx seconds Counts: C: 150, D: 153, S: 300, R (non-null): 304, DO: 0
where the counts are respectively: creates, normal drops, sends, non-null receives, and drops done by "drop oldest".
Care must be taken if combining
LoadBalance (with substreams) and
SubstreamSensitiveMerge in a divergent-convergent pattern - this pattern is one of the warning signals for deadlocks anyway. The problem is described in more detail under https://github.com/jpaulm/javafbp/issues/8.
Tracing and other options
To trace JavaFBP services and/or lock usage, set the appropriate parameter(s) in
JavaFBPProperties.xml in the user directory to
<?xml version="1.0"?> <properties> <tracing>true</tracing> <tracelocks>false</tracelocks> </properties>
These traces will appear in the project directory (in GitHub if running Eclipse) under the name
xxxx is the name of the network being run. Subnets have their own trace output files.
Two other options are also supported in the properties file:
deadlocktest(defaults to true, so you might set it to
forceconsole(used if immediate console output is required during debugging - normally, console output is sent to a file)