[zeromq-dev] Announcing em-zeromq, integration with ruby's eventmachine reactor

Andrew Cholakian andrew at andrewvc.com
Sun Jan 30 06:55:43 CET 2011

Thanks Jonathan, I appreciate the detailed comments and insights and will
definitely be making the changes you've recommended.

As far as ZMQ::Events goes. Why should I check that rather than just attempt
to call recv, ZMQ::NOBLOCK, as the code does now? I left that comment in
there because I was a bit confused as to why I should check that. It sounds
like there's a good reason for that, but I'm clearly not getting something.

On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM, Jonathan Rockway <jon at jrock.us> wrote:

> * On Sat, Jan 29 2011, Andrew Cholakian wrote:
> > I'd like to announce a new project: em-zeromq,
> https://github.com/andrewvc/em-zeromq ,
> > which integrates ZeroMQ sockets with Ruby's EventMachine reactor, using
> ZeroMQ 2.1's
> > new File Descriptor support.
> >
> > I'm sure there are bugs and errors in it, the code right now is somewhat
> rough, with a
> > minimal set of passing specs. I'd appreciate patches and suggestions for
> improvements
> > both in the code and API.
> I have a few comments; I noticed there is a comment in the source code
> that says it's not useful to check writability, but this is not strictly
> true: consider the case where ZMQ_HWM is 1 and there are no peers
> connected -- the socket will not be writable, but will be after a peer
> is connected and consumes that message.  An object that represents an
> application level queue of messages to send (perhaps being lazily
> calculated) needs this event to know to generate and send the next
> message.  (No point in doing work if nobody is around to notice.)
> Also, I don't know how EventMachine handles this, but you can't create a
> watcher until you've tried and failed to send a message without
> blocking.  (Sockets and pipes work the same way; you do the read/write
> and then create an IO watcher if you didn't successfully read or write
> the entire message.  Otherwise, the event loop is not involved.)
> I'm also confused as to why this is commented out:
> #complete_messages = (@socket.getsockopt(ZMQ::EVENTS) & ZMQ::POLLIN) ==
> As you need to do that.
> The strategy I take in my Perl binding is to provide two APIs: a
> low-level set of functions to probe write/read-ability, and a Handle
> object that takes a buffer of read/write requests.
> Anyway, the API for the low-level looks like:
>   probe( poll => <direction>, socket => <socket> )
>   io( poll => <direction>, socket => <socket>, cb => <callback> )
> probe takes a direction (r / w) and a socket, and returns true if that
> operation would currently succeed, or false if it would block.  If true,
> you should do the operation immediately; if false, you should create a
> watcher with "io", which will defer the operation.  (This is just a thin
> wrapper around ZMQ_EVENTS, just like the you commented out in your
> implementation.)
> io takes the same args, but also a callback that will be called when the
> operation becomes possible.  It works by creating the releavant IO (fd)
> watcher on the ZMQ_FD, and when the event loop calls the IO watcher's
> callback, we do a "probe" and call the callback if probe returns true.
> Otherwise, we continue to wait (via the event loop and io watcher) until
> this happens.  (I am not sure how often the IO watcher will indicate
> readability but the socket won't allow a successful read.  But this is a
> case that happens with normal sockets/pipes under some event loops, so I
> handle it for maximum correctness / paranoia.)
> The higher level API on top of this is a Handle object that has two main
> entry points, "push_read" and "push_write".  Each function pushes a
> callback onto a queue.  When there is stuff in the queue, the Handle
> object checks "probe" and calls the callback with the read message (or
> calls the callback to generate a message to write) if probe returns
> true.  If not, processing of the queue is deferred (via "io") until
> write/readability exists again.  Then the process repeats until the
> queue is drained.
> The code is here:
>  probe/io:
> https://github.com/jrockway/anyevent-zeromq/blob/master/lib/AnyEvent/ZeroMQ.pm
>  handle:
> https://github.com/jrockway/anyevent-zeromq/blob/master/lib/AnyEvent/ZeroMQ/Handle.pm
> This approach has been quite successful for me, both within my
> applications and for communicating with Mongrel2.
> Regards,
> Jonathan Rockway
> --
> print just => another => perl => hacker => if $,=$"
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Andrew Cholakian
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