The ftrigr library interface

The ftrigr library provides an API for listeners, i.e. programs that want to subscribe to fifodirs and be instantly notified when the proper sequence of events happens.


Check the s6/ftrigr.h header for the exact function prototypes.

Make sure your application is not disturbed by children it doesn't know it has. This means paying some attention to the SIGCHLD handler, if any, and to the way you perform waitpid()s. The best practice is to use a self-pipe to handle SIGCHLD (as well as other signals the application needs to trap), and to always use wait_nohang() to reap children, simply ignoring pids you don't know.

If your application has trouble handling unknown children, consider using a ftrigrd service. (And fix your application!)

A programming example

The src/pipe-tools/s6-ftrig-listen1.c and src/supervision/s6-svwait.c files in the s6 package, for instance, illustrate how to use the ftrigr library.

Synchronous functions with a specified maximum execution time

Starting and ending a session

ftrigr_t a = FTRIGR_ZERO ;
tain_t deadline, stamp ;

tain_now(&stamp) ;
tain_addsec(&deadline, &stamp, 2)

// char const *path = FTRIGR_IPCPATH ;
// ftrigr_start(&a, path, &deadline, &stamp) ;
ftrigr_startf(&a, &deadline, &stamp) ;

ftrigr_start starts a session with a ftrigrd service listening on path.
ftrigr_startf starts a session with a ftrigrd process as a child (which is the simplest usage).
a is a ftrigr_t structure that must be declared in the stack and initialized to FTRIGR_ZERO. stamp must be an accurate enough timestamp.
If the session initialization fails, the function returns 0 and errno is set; else the function returns 1.

If the absolute time deadline is reached and the function has not returned yet, it immediately returns 0 with errno set to ETIMEDOUT. Only local interprocess communications are involved; unless your system is heavily overloaded, the function should return near-instantly. One or two seconds of delay between stamp and deadline should be enough: if the function takes more than that to return, then there is a problem with the underlying processes.

You can have more than one session open in parallel, by declaring several distinct ftrigr_t structures and calling ftrigr_startf (or ftrigr_start) more than once. However, this is useless, since one single session can handle virtually as many concurrent fifodirs as your application needs.

ftrigr_end(&a) ;

ftrigr_end frees all the resources used by the session. The a structure is then reusable for another session.

Subscribing to a fifodir

char const *path = "/var/lib/myservice/fifodir" ;
char const *re = "a.*b|c*d" ;
uint32_t options = 0 ;

uint16_t id = ftrigr_subscribe (&a, path, re, options, &deadline, &stamp) ;

ftrigr_subscribe instructs the s6-ftrigrd daemon, related to the open session represented by the a structure, to subscribe to the path fifodir, and to notify the application when it receives a series of events that matches the re regexp. options can be 0 or FTRIGR_REPEAT. If it is 0, the daemon will automatically unsubscribe from path once re has been matched by a series of events. If it is FTRIGR_REPEAT, it will remain subscribed until told otherwise.

ftrigr_subscribe() returns 0 and sets errno in case of failure, or a nonzero 16-bit number identifying the subscription in case of success.

ftrigr_subscribe should return near-instantly, but if deadline is reached, it will return 0 ETIMEDOUT. If ftrigr_subscribe returns successfully, then the s6-ftrigrd daemon is guaranteed to be listening on path, and events can be sent without the risk of a race condition.

Synchronously waiting for events

uint16_t list[1] ;
unsigned int n = 1 ;
char trigger ;
list[0] = id ;

// r = ftrigr_wait_and(&a, list, n, &deadline) ;
r = ftrigr_wait_or(&a, list, n, &deadline, &trigger) ;

ftrigr_wait_and() waits for all the n fifodirs whose ids are listed in list to receive an event. It returns -1 in case of error or timeout, or a non-negative integer in case of success.
ftrigr_wait_or() waits for one of the n fifodirs whose ids are listed in list to receive an event. It returns -1 in case of error or timeout; if it succeeds, the return value is the position in list, starting at 0, of the identifier that received an event; and trigger is set to the character that triggered that event, i.e. the last character of a sequence that matched the regular expression re used in the subscription.

Asynchronously waiting for events

(from now on, the functions are listed with their prototypes instead of usage examples.)

int ftrigr_fd (ftrigr_t const *a)

Returns a file descriptor to select on for reading. Do not read() it though.

int ftrigr_updateb (ftrigr_t *a)

Call this function whenever the fd checks readability: it will update a's internal structures with information from the s6-ftrigrd daemon. It returns -1 if an error occurs; in case of success, it returns the number of identifiers for which something happened.

When ftrigr_updateb returns, genalloc_s(uint16_t, &a->list) points to an array of genalloc_len(uint16_t, &a->list) 16-bit unsigned integers. Those integers are ids waiting to be passed to ftrigr_check or ftrigr_checksa. The number of ids already acknowledged is stored in a->head, so the first unacknowledged id is genalloc_s(uint16_t, &a->list)[a->head].

int ftrigr_check (ftrigr_t *a, uint16_t id, char *what)

Checks whether an event happened to id. Use after a call to ftrigr_updateb().

int ftrigr_checksa (ftrigr_t *a, uint16_t id, stralloc *what)

Checks whether an event happened to id. Use after a call to ftrigr_update(), as an alternative to ftrigr_check().

int ftrigr_ack (ftrigr_t *a, size_t n)

Acknowledges reading n ids from the id list updated by ftrigr_updateb.

int ftrigr_update (ftrigr_t *a)

Acknowledges all the pending ids (i.e. clears the stored id list) then calls ftrigr_updateb().