[zeromq-dev] Language binding guidelines

gonzalo diethelm gdiethelm at dcv.cl
Mon Mar 1 18:51:18 CET 2010

> >> z = new ZMQ ();
> >> s = z.makeSocket (ZMQ::PUB);
> >>
> >> z = new ZMQ::Context ();
> >> s = new ZMQ::Socket (z, ZMQ::PUB);
> >>
> >> My preference is for the latter. Two reasons:
> >>
> >> 1. It's the current way it is. No need to change the API.
> >> 2. It's more obvious what's going on. The former example is a bit
> > cryptic.
> >> However, feel free to outvote me!
> >
> > I think I lean more to the former, for a single reason: in the
> > you must expose your Context object (z). Also, see below (*).
> By more straightforward I've meant that you have a single namespace
> (it's really a namespace, it's never instantiated!) that everyting is
> placed into: constants, context, socket, poller etc.
> In former option the things are a bit confused. There's a namespace -
> but, interestingly, it can (and must) be instantiated and serves as a
> context for sockets. Thus, identifier ZMQ actually refers to two
> distinct things - namespace of the library and context the sockets are
> instantiated in.

You are right. Although I am not sure about the consequences of mixing
the namespace and the instantiated context; probably I have been
programming in Java / C++ for too long...

> While in Java the problem is made less visible by having "org.zmq"
> package (kind of namespace) and no support for namespaces (ZMQ has to
> a class even though it's actually a namespace), in other languages
> Ruby) the confusion is pretty clear...

I don't know enough Ruby to vouch for this, but I take your word.

> > This is the main concern here, since a socket that lingers on will
> > definitely have visible effects.
> What about adding "close" function to the socket and "term" function
> the context?

Yes, we agree on this.

> >> Definitely, the issue should be addressed in binding guidelines.
> >
> > Probably best would be to have an explicit close() for Socket
> > and a destroy() for Context objects. If we hide the context behind a
> > single ZMQ class (*), you could also make sure that when
> > Context.destroy() is called, you first call close() on all relevant
> > Socket objects.
> The plan here is to use the option to close the context before sockets
> are closes to notify all the threads in the application about
> The idea is that once you terminate the context, all the blocking
> on sockets exit with ESHUTDOWN (or similar) allowing you to do cleanup
> and terminate the application decently.
> While it may seem a bit strange, the semantics is pretty useful for
> multithread application termination. Without it you would have to open
> an inproc connection from main thread to every worker thread. Each
> worker thread would then have to poll on both it's "working" socket
> the inproc socket, the latter just to get the termination message.
> mechanism is unneeded annoyance to implement and is at the same time
> detrimental to performance.

I had forgotten 0MQ probably keeps an internal list of sockets
associated with its context; it certainly makes sense to have all
outstanding socket operations fail in a graceful manner. I like this

Gonzalo Diethelm

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