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From Emmanuel Lecharny <elecha...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [MINA 3.0] filter chains
Date Sat, 27 Aug 2011 02:35:05 GMT
On 8/27/11 2:04 AM, Alan D. Cabrera wrote:
> On Aug 26, 2011, at 1:27 PM, Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:
>> On 8/26/11 8:47 PM, Alan D. Cabrera wrote:
>>> On Aug 26, 2011, at 11:03 AM, Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:
>>>> On 8/26/11 7:22 PM, Alan D. Cabrera wrote:
>>>>> On Aug 26, 2011, at 9:33 AM, Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:
>>>>> What I have in mind is much more something like :
>>>>> void messageReceived( context )
>>>>> {
>>>>>     ... // do something, updating the context, eventually setting a status
>>>>>    controller.callNextFilter( context, currentFilter );
>>>>>     ... // do something after the call
>>>>> }
>>>>> and in controller :
>>>>> void callNextFilter( Context context, Filter currentFilter )
>>>>> {
>>>>>     Status status = context.getStatus();
>>>>>     Map<Status, Filter>    map = fsmMap.get( currentFilter );
>>>>>     Filter nextFilter = map.get( status );
>>>>>     nextFilter.messageReceived( context );
>>>>> }
>>>>> This strikes me as pretty complex, jmho.  Also, I don't like the idea
of forcing the filter to call the controller.callNextFilter() to make things work.
>>>> the alternative would be something like :
>>>> void messageReceived( context )
>>>> {
>>>>    ... // do something, updating the context, eventually setting a status
>>>>   fsmMap.get( this ).get( status ).messageReceived( context );
>>>>    ... // do something after the call
>>>> }
>>>> No controller, but a long list of chained call.
>>> But we're still forcing the filter to participate in things that really should
be the domain of the controller not the filter.
>> If we delegate the transition to the controller, then we can't have post actions...
Obviously, not having post actions makes it easier. (Post action are really important if we
want to do something when we come back from the application.)
> I think we're getting to some interesting bits. Can you provide more exact detail?

One very simple example, taken from the ProfilerFilter :

     public void messageReceived(NextFilter nextFilter, IoSession session,
             Object message) throws Exception {
         if (profileMessageReceived) {
             long start = timeNow();
             nextFilter.messageReceived(session, message);
             long end = timeNow();
             messageReceivedTimerWorker.addNewDuration(end - start);
         } else {
             nextFilter.messageReceived(session, message);

If you depend on the controller to call thenext filter, then you have no 
easy way to compute the time it takes to process the action, as you 
won't be able to execute the post action.

Note that the decoding of multiple messages within one PDU won't be 
possible either without being able to process post-actions. (see below)
>> One clear exemple would be a decoder processing a PDU with more than one message
: you can't anymore loop on the PDU if you delegate the next call to the controller.
> What is the format of this PDU and how is it presented to the FSM, i.e. in what kind
of pieces does it arrive?

You get an array of bytes, containing potentially more than one message. 
The fact is that you have no way to get a byte array from the socket as 
soon as a complete message has been received : the socket does not know 
anything about messages.

You just have to assume that the PDU you've got can be :
- either a portion of a message, and you have to wait for more bytes in 
order to produce a message
- a full message, once decoded
- more than one message you have to send to the handler one by one
- some full messages plus a fraction of a message
>>> With that said I think that an FSM where we have, here letters are filters:
>>> [outside filter] ->   {A ->   [state change decides to send to] -> 
 B ->    [state change decides to send to]  ->   C} ->   [outside filter]
>>> is very confusing.  What protocol would require that?  Just an honest question;
one does not come to my mind atm.
>> all of them :) This is what we currently do in MINA.
> I think that I am hearing a reply that explains that all the protocols are implemented
in this way.  I'm not hearing an explanation as to why it *must* be that way.

simply because you can't move to the next filter unless you have 
transformed what you've got from the previous filter. If we exclude all 
the utility filters (like the loggers), a filter can only process a 
certain type of message, and produce another type of message. The chain 
of filters is dictated by the transformation done at each step. One good 
example is LDAP processing : in order to decode a LDAP message, you 
first have to decode the TLVs, then you can decode the messages 
themselves. A LDAP chain would be something like :

[outside filter] -> (bytes) -> { TLV decoder filter -> (TLVs) -> LDAP 
decoder filter -> (LDAPmessages) } -> [outside filter]

(add to this the fact that you may loop on the TLV filter *and* the LDAP 
filter, plus the fact that you may have to wait for more bytes)

Now, it makes *no sense* to exchange the filters. It will simply not 
work. It's the very same for any protocol we will process with such a 

In other words, the order the filters are executed is not random. It's 
fixed by design, and does not change (as soon as we have ruled out the 
possibility to have a dynamic chain).

Another way to see this mechanism is that it's a path from one point to 
another : you may have many different paths, but for a set of bytes, you 
will always follow the same path. The only way to follow two different 
paths is when you get two different sets of bytes.

Emmanuel L├ęcharny

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