README

Path: README
Last Update: Wed Apr 23 22:54:04 -0600 2008

Rev

Rev is an event library for Ruby, built on the libev event library which provides a cross-platform interface to high performance system calls . This includes the epoll system call for Linux, the kqueue system call for BSDs and OS X, and the completion ports interface for Solaris.

Rev also binds asynchronous wrappers to Ruby‘s core socket classes so you can use them in conjunction with Rev to build asynchronous event-driven applications.

You can include Rev in your programs with:

 require 'rubygems'
 require 'rev'

For more information, consult the RubyForge page:

 http://rev.rubyforge.org

Questions? Sign up for the mailing list at:

 http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/rev-talk

Anatomy

Rev builds on two core classes which bind to the libev API:

  • Rev::Loop - This class represents an event loop which uses underlying high performance system calls to wait for events.
  • Rev::Watcher - This is the base class for event observers. Once you attach an event observer to a loop and start running it, you will begin receiving callbacks to particlar methods when events occur.

Watchers

There are presently two types of watchers:

  • Rev::IOWatcher - This class waits for an IO object to become readable, writable, or both.
  • Rev::TimerWatcher - This class waits for a specified duration then fires an event. You can also configure it to fire an event at specified intervals.

Using Watchers

Watchers have five important methods:

  • attach(loop) - This binds a watcher to the specified event loop. If the watcher is already bound to a loop it will be detached first, then attached to the new one.
  • detach - This completely unbinds a watcher from an event loop.
  • disable - This stops the watcher from receiving events but does not unbind it from the loop. If you are trying to toggle a watcher on and off, it‘s best to use this method (and enable) as it performs better than completely removing the watcher from the event loop.
  • enable - This re-enables a watcher which has been disabled in the past. The watcher must still be bound to an event loop.
  • evloop - This returns the Rev::Loop object which the watcher is currently bound to.

Asynchronous Wrappers

Several classes which provide asynchronous event-driven wrappers for Ruby‘s core socket classes are also provided. Among these are:

  • Rev::TCPSocket - A buffered wrapper to core Ruby‘s Socket class for use with TCP sockets. You can asynchronously create outgoing TCP connections using its Rev::TCPSocket.connect method. Rev::TCPSocket provides write buffering to ensure that writing never blocks, and has asynchronous callbacks for several events, including when the connection is opened (or failed), when data is received, when the write buffer has been written out completely, and when the connection closes.
  • Rev::TCPServer - A wrapper for TCPServer which creates new instances of Rev::TCPSocket (or any subclass you wish to provide) whenever an incoming connection is received.
  • Rev::HttpClient - An HTTP/1.1 client with support for chunked encoding and streaming response processing through asynchronous callbacks.

Example Program

Below is an example of how to write an echo server:

  HOST = 'localhost'
  PORT = 4321

  class EchoServerConnection < Rev::TCPSocket
    def on_connect
      puts "#{remote_addr}:#{remote_port} connected"
    end

    def on_close
      puts "#{remote_addr}:#{remote_port} disconnected"
    end

    def on_read(data)
      write data
    end
  end

  server = Rev::TCPServer.new('localhost', PORT, EchoServerConnection)
  server.attach(Rev::Loop.default)

  puts "Echo server listening on #{HOST}:#{PORT}"
  Rev::Loop.default.run

Here a new observer type (EchoServerConnection) is made by subclassing an existing one and adding new implementations to existing event handlers.

A new event loop is created, and a new Rev::TCPServer (whose base class is Rev::Watcher) is created and attached to the event loop.

Once this is done, the event loop is started with event_loop.run. This method will block until there are no active watchers for the loop or the loop is stopped explicitly with event_loop.stop.

Defining Callbacks at Runtime

It‘s often tedious to subclass in order to just change one callback. Rev gives you the ability to change event callbacks on the fly (provided you haven‘t overridden them in a subclass). This is especially useful for small one off programs or just experimenting with the API.

Any callback (methods prefixed with on_*) can be set on the fly by passing it a block. (NOTE: Ruby 1.9 only)

Below is an example of using this syntax. It implements an echo server identical to the one above:

  HOST = '127.0.0.1'
  PORT = 4321

  server = Rev::TCPServer.new(ADDR, PORT) do |c|
    c.on_connect { puts "#{remote_addr}:#{remote_port} connected" }
    c.on_close   { puts "#{remote_addr}:#{remote_port} disconnected" }
    c.on_read    { |data| write data }
  end

  server.attach(Rev::Loop.default)

  puts "Echo server listening on #{HOST}:#{PORT}"
  Rev::Loop.default.run

As you can see, it provides a more concise (albeint slightly slower) expression of the same server as above, without the need to subclass.

Rev::TCPServer will automatically yield new connections if a block is given. In this case the "c" variable being passed to the block is a new instance of Rev::TCPSocket representing the newly created connection.

The above example sets the on_connect, on_close, and on_read callbacks each time a new connection is created.

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