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[DataUpdate] ADD: necessary State Setting mechanisms #823

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marques-bruno commented Nov 9, 2018

See ComponentState Diagram here

This PR sets up a Component State Checking mechanism that allows to know if a call to init / reinit is necessary, and whether or not the component took into account any change applied to its data fields.

The idea is that Each component's state can be:

  • Unspecified: The component has just been created, init has not been called
  • Valid: The component is ready to be used, and should behave as expected
  • Dirty: The component is ready to be used, but requires a call to reinit() to update some of its datafields.
  • invalid:
    1. An error happened during init, reinit or any of the methods called during the simulation step. A call to reinit might fix it
    2. A call to reinit has been made, but the method is improperly implemented, such as one or more Data field has not been updated (call to getValue / updateIfDirty etc...)

Because I don't trust programmes to implement the mechanism in their own components, and because it would require all already-implemented component to perform checks in order to get a consistent idea of what's happening, I decided to (try to) embed the state setting mechanisms inside the simulation:

  • setDirtyValue() on a data sets the dirty state on its owner
  • cleanDirty() on a data looks at all its owner's data fields and if they're all clean, sets the Valid state on it
  • initVisitor() / init / bwdInit python binding uses the MessageHandler API to verify that no msg_error has been triggered, and sets either the Valid or Invalid state on the component
  • reinit pythonBinding / the Qt GUI's ModifyObject calls reinit, and that call is wrapped the same MessageHandling mechanism to set or unset the Valid / Invalid flag

There is a weak link in this approach:
reinit() will NOT unset the Invalid flag from a component if it is called from elsewhere than the GUI's ModifyObject api. This can happen often: when calling reinit from a c++ program that doesn't use runSofa's GUI for instance.
In order to guarantee that the state is set properly on reinit(), reinit should be a delegate method nested in a method performing the check on the msg_error, and setting the Valid / Invalid flag appropriately. This would be a VERY breaking, and time consuming task. calling the state updating mechanisms from the python bindings, visitors & GUI is kind of QuickNDirty but should reveal all components that aren't implementing properly their init / reinit / bwdInit methods properly, and show at the component level a hint at how often components stay in a "Dirty' state


  • Create a StateCheckerVisitor and run it at the end of the DefaultAnimationLoop's step function
  • Use the StateCheckerVisitor to either
    • show a warning message if a component is in an Invalid / Unspecified state
    • run init() / reinit() on the components whose states are invalid or unspecified
    • display a warning icon in runSofa's Scene graph to reflect the component's state

@damienmarchal do you see a non-intrusive solution to the reinit() problem...?

This PR:

  • builds with SUCCESS for all platforms on the CI.
  • does not generate new warnings.
  • does not generate new unit test failures.
  • does not generate new scene test failures.
  • does not break API compatibility.
  • is more than 1 week old (or has fast-merge label).

Reviewers will merge only if all these checks are true.


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damienmarchal commented Nov 21, 2018

I would add the ComponentState as a Data<> but I'm not sure if this is ok.

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