[erlang-questions] integrating inter-process protocol checkers

Park, Sungjin jinni.park@REDACTED
Tue May 20 04:50:38 CEST 2014

Rich, are you willing to share your achievement in public?

On Mon, May 19, 2014 at 9:57 PM, Rich Neswold <rich.neswold@REDACTED>wrote:

> On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM, Vlad Dumitrescu <vladdu55@REDACTED>
> wrote:
> > I was thinking today (obvious from the number of mails to the list :-) )
> and
> > was considering how great idea protocol checkers are and wondered why
> they
> > aren't used and popularized more.
> Protocol checkers are wonderful.
> > One of the possible reasons is that in order to be able to use them
> > everywhere, one has to use a specific architecture: with middleman
> processes
> > in front of every server process. This is somewhat clunky, introducing
> > elements that are not related to the application domain. Besides, it
> makes
> > it difficult to add them to existing applications.
> A colleague and I have developed a protocol compiler which takes a
> protocol specification file and generates source code to
> marshal/unmarshal the messages. It's very similar to Google's protobuf
> idea and we seriously considered using their's, but there were some
> requirements at Fermilab which it didn't meet, so we rolled our own.
> We support C++, Java, Objective-C and Erlang (which are all used in
> our Control System) and we also target Python and OCaml (which are
> experimental.)
> We don't use middleware: each generator uses the target language's
> method of choice to prep an outgoing message. So, for example, the C++
> code will write to a stream; the Erlang code builds a binary (which
> can then be sent to a socket.); etc.
> The generated code for each target language validates the messages and
> will only succeed if every required field is present and is of the
> correct type and in range. Handling protocols, before this tool was
> created, was tedious and error-prone. Now adding features is a breeze
> and we regularly add or refactor protocol messages.
> --
> Rich
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Park, Sungjin
Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god.
  -- The Books of Bokonon
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