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% Writing GDP applications
A typical application
The log interface acts as a proxy to interact with sensors and actuators. We describe how one would go about designing a simple application. Imagine an office building with some temperature sensors and some motor controlled window blinds. We would like to design an application that looks at the current temperature and some weather prediction feeds from the cloud to make a smart decision about the window blinds.
As shown above, in order to do so, the application subscribes to all the
relevant logs and writes the actuation values to the actuator log. A gateway
working on behalf of the actuator subscribes to this actuation log and controls
the motors for the window blinds. Note that instead of two separate logs, a
composite log can be created for
Sensor 1 and
Sensor 2 in the diagram
above, provided that the gateway implements the single-writer semantics.
Software Installation and Configuration
In this section, we talk about how to get access, install and use the GDP client side library. As mentioned earlier, we have a C library for clients with wrappers in other languages around this C-library.
The main GDP repository can be accessed in read-only mode by using
git clone https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/git-anon/projects/swarmlab/gdp.git
Or, in read-write mode either using HTTPS (requires username, password), or using SSH (requires key setup):
git clone https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/git/projects/swarmlab/gdp.git git clone email@example.com:projects/swarmlab/gdp.git
The main GDP repository contains the core GDP library (
applications and language bindings, and the log-server (
is maintained in a separate repository (
gdp_router_click.git). However, you
should not need to worry about it if you are just playing around with GDP.
gdp-if.git contains various interfaces to the GDP. It is
not really part of the GDP itself, but it may prove instructive.
In summary, assuming you have the required dependencies installed,
install-dev-c should install the C include files, C libraries, and basic
utility applications into system path.
make install-python should
install the Python bindings in the system path as well. These
targets do not create any necessary configuration files, however (see
below). For more details, refer to README.md in the main git tree.
Refer to README.md in the main git tree.
Note that the software/infrastructure is still in very early experimental phase. We do not make any guarantees on data retention/backups at this moment. As the code stabilizes, we will make better effort to maintain data. In the meantime, contact us if you would like to use GDP for anything serious.
The GDP library, log-server, and various other utility programs consult a configuration file for the correct parameters to use. At the very minimum, your configuration file should contain the GDP router that your client should connect to (unless someone else is running a local router in the same subnet as you are in, in which case zeroconf should work). Refer to README.md in the main git tree.
The main mechanism to create a log is using
gdp-create (should be in your
system path after
make install-*). For example,
gdp-create -k none org.example.project.log17a
will create a log named
org.example.project.log17a on one of the default
log-servers at Berkeley.
Although you can create logs with any name, please stick to this convention
(with "project" being the project name or the user name, as appropriate) so we
can avoid name collisions.
-k none means that
gdp-create will not attempt to
create a new signature key for signing appended data. Although crucial to the
operation, key-management is better deferred to a stage when you are familiar
with the basic operations of the GDP. Also, note that
gdp-create has several
other command-line options that will be useful later on.
Note that if you don't explicitly specify log-placement, a log-server at Berkeley is picked at random for hosting your log. This is especially important if you are running your own log-servers and want control over where data goes.
Writing applications in Python
Even though the GDP library is written in C, we provide a python package
that acts as a wrapper around the C-library. This python package enables quick
prototyping using an object-oriented interface to GDP. What follows is a quick
how-to on writing simple GDP programs in Python. Note that this document is
just a starting point and is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the
complete interface. For a more thorough API documentation, refer to
Python package installation
gdp should be installed in your system path for python packages.
Once you have the required dependencies for compilation installed, something
make install-python from the root of repository should do the trick (note
that running with
sudo may be required). Note that this also installs the
client side C libraries and various utilities (such as
gdp-create) in system
Let's start with a simple
Hello world program, that writes some data to a
log and reads it back. Before we begin, we need to create the log; see Creating
logs above. The tutorial uses the logname
please replace it with the name of the log you create.
We need to import the package
gdp to begin with.
>>> import gdp
Once imported, we need to initialize the GDP package by calling
An optional argument to
gdp_init() is the address of a GDP-router. If no
address provided, a default value of the parameter
swarm.gdp.routers is used
as configured by EP library. (See README.md for details).
>>> # the following picks a router based on EP library configuration >>> gdp.gdp_init() >>> # For a specific router, use the following: >>> # gdp.gdp_init('gdp-01.eecs.berkeley.edu:8007')
As mentioned earlier, we support human readable names for logs. The mechanism
for translating a human readable name to a 256-bit name is probably going to
change in the future, however, it is our hope that it should be a simple
change. The Python wrapper uses instances of class
gdp.GDP_NAME for a name,
which could be initialized using a human readable name.
>>> # Create a GDP_NAME object from a human readable python string >>> gin_name = gdp.GDP_NAME("edu.berkeley.eecs.mor.01")
Once we have a
GDP_NAME, we can use this to open a handle to a log/GCL. A log
handle works like a file handle in some ways. We need to tell whether we want
to open the GCL in read-only mode (
gdp.GDP_MODE_RO), or append-only mode
gdp.GDP_MODE_AO), or read-and-append mode (
>>> # assume that this log already exists. >>> gin_handle = gdp.GDP_GIN(gin_name, gdp.GDP_MODE_RA)
Next, let's append a few records to the log. The unit of read/write to a log is
called a record--data with some automatically generated metadata--represented
GDP_DATUM object. The
GDP_DATUM object contains a
GDP_BUF that holds
the actual data. (Please see the C-api for more details on the behavior of
buffer objects, and such).
>>> d = gdp.GDP_DATUM() >>> for idx in xrange(10): ... d["buf"].reset() ... d["buf"].write("Hello world " + str(idx)} ... gin_handle.append(d)
That's it. Ideally, it should finish without throwing any errors, resulting in 10 records append to the log specified.
/lang/python/apps/writer_test.py for a full example.
Reading data by record number
Next, let's read some data back and see if it matches what we wrote. Note that
we need to tell what record number we want to read, and record numbers start
from 1. To read data, we just use
read_by_recno method of the GDP_GIN instance
with the record number.
>>> for idx in xrange(1,11): ... datum = gin_handle.read_by_recno(idx) ... print datum["recno"], datum["buf"].peek() (1, 'Hello world 0') (2, 'Hello world 1') (3, 'Hello world 2') (4, 'Hello world 3') (5, 'Hello world 4') (6, 'Hello world 5') (7, 'Hello world 6') (8, 'Hello world 7') (9, 'Hello world 8') (10, 'Hello world 9')
So far, we saw how to read and write data by record number. However, most of
the times, we are interested in the most recent record. For this, we support
negative record numbers, i.e.
-1 refers to the most recent record,
refers to the second most recent record, and so on.
/lang/python/apps/reader_test.py for a full example.
Next, let's see how can we subscribe to a log to get new data from a log as it
gets appended. For this, we use
subscribe_by_recno method of the
>>> # ignore the parameters for the moment >>> gin_handle.subscribe_by_recno(0, 0, None)
This subscription returns events, that we need to process in order to get notified of the data as it appears.
>>> while True: ... # this blocks until there is a new event ... event = gin_handle.get_next_event(None) ... # Events can be used to get the associated datum ... if event["type"] == gdp.GDP_EVENT_DATA: ... datum = event["datum"] ... print datum["buf"].peek() ... else: ... # we ignore other event types for simplicity ... break
In the above code,
event is an object of type
GDP_EVENT, which can be used
to get the associated
GDP_DATUM (and then
GDP_BUF). In order to see the
above code in action, open another python console (while this is running), and
append some new data to the log just the way you saw above.
/lang/python/apps/reader_test_subscribe.py for a full example.
Reading multiple records at a time
Reading one record at a time can be very inefficient, especially when reading
large amount of data. For this, we support asynchronous reads to read a range of
records at a time. The interface is similar to
subscribe_by_recno in some
sense--events are returned as a result of an asynchronous call.
/lang/python/apps/reader_test_async.py for a full example.
Partially implemented. In the normal
append call above, a client sends some
data to the log-server and waits for an acknowledgement before returning
control back to the application. In order to convert this blocking operation to
a non-blocking operation,
append_async could be used instead of regular
Refer to the API documentation at
/lang/python/README for more details.