Let us now take a more internal look at the workings of EiffelNet. The two examples that follow have the same behavior as the preceding one; since their text is less simple, they are only interesting as an illustration of the lower-level facilities that you may want to use in specific cases. If you are already familiar with socket programming, they will also give you a more precise idea of how EiffelNet encapsulates the basic socket mechanisms.

As before, we have a client and a server class, still called OUR_CLIENT and OUR_SERVER, which are part of two different systems and will run concurrently. The communication uses streams rather than datagrams; the datagram form of communication will be examined in section using datagram sockets .

A client and a server on the same machine

Note: The example classes discussed in this section appear in the subdirectory same_mach of the example directory

First, let us assume that the client and server run on the same machine, so that we will use the UNIX_ versions of the classes (the next example will be multi-machine). The communication protocol is also the same as before: the client sends a list of strings, the server returns it extended.

Here we will create and manipulate sockets directly. For that reason, both classes inherit from the EiffelNet class SOCKET_RESOURCES which introduces a number of constants and other useful socket-related features.

The two sockets must be able to refer to a common address. For a communication within a single machine, as noted, this address is a path name, again /tmp/here for this example. The address will be an argument of the creation procedure used to obtain a socket soc1 on either side: create soc1.make_client ("/tmp/here") create soc1.make_server ("/tmp/here") The make_ procedures take care of all the hassles of establishing a socket for a client or a server: creating an address object, setting it to the given path name, binding the socket to the address, and in the client case establishing the connection. For finer control, these procedures are still available: you can create a bare socket by using the basic creation procedure make (rather than the more sophisticated make_client and make_server), then create a separate address object, associate the two, and call the bind and connect procedures.

Because communication is bidirectional, the distinction between client and server is not between who sends and who receives, although here the server only sends messages of acknowledgment. The client is the party that initiates the communication; the server is the party which stands ready to accept the communication. This difference justifies the presence of two creation procedures make_client and make_server as illustrated above. To initiate the communication, the client will execute: soc1.connect

To make itself ready for the communication, the server will execute: soc1.listen (n)

where n is a positive integer indicating the maximum number of client connection attempts that may be queued. The value 5, used in the example, is typical for n.

When you use the _SERVER classes of the predefined level, as in the earlier example, 5 is indeed the default; you can change the value to a positive integer n through the call set_queued (n) .

Whenever the server needs to exchange objects with one of the clients, it obtains access to the socket through the following sequence: soc1.accept soc2 := soc1.accepted ... Storage and retrieval operations using soc2 (not soc1) ... soc2.close

Procedure accept ensures synchronization with the client. When communication is established, accept creates a new socket which will be accessible through attribute accepted, whose value is here assigned to the local entity soc2. To receive objects, the server will use operations of the form introduced earlier ( An overview of EiffelNet, sending and receiving object structures ): if attached {SOME_EXPECTED_TYPE} soc2.retrieved as l_temp then -- soc2.retrieved was attached to an object of the expected type. Now that object is attached to `l_temp' -- Proceed with normal computation, typically involving calls of the form l_temp.some_feature else -- soc2.retrieved was not attached to an object of the expected type. end

applying to soc2, not soc1; this makes soc1 available to accept connections with other clients, a fundamental feature of client-server mechanisms.

The operation soc2.close which terminates the above sequence closes the new socket. In principle this is not necessary, since garbage collection should eventually reclaim the socket object, and the dispose procedure of the corresponding socket class includes a call to close. But the risk exists that you run out of sockets before garbage collection reclaims all currently opened sockets, so it is preferable to include the close calls explicitly.

At the end of the processing it is necessary to close the original socket soc1 but also to unlink it. The feature cleanup from class SOCKET takes care of both closing and unlinking.

Here is the server class based on these principles. The actual processing has been put aside in a procedure process. class OUR_SERVER inherit SOCKET_RESOURCES STORABLE creation make feature make -- Accept communication with client and exchange messages local count: INTEGER soc1: detachable UNIX_STREAM_SOCKET do create soc1.make_server ("/tmp/here") from soc1.listen (5) count := 0 until count = 3 loop process (soc1) -- See below count := count + 1 end soc1.cleanup rescue if soc1 /= Void then soc1.cleanup end end process (soc1: UNIX_STREAM_SOCKET) -- Receive a message, extend it, and send it back do soc1.accept if attached soc1.accepted as l_soc2 then if attached {OUR_MESSAGE} retrieved (l_soc2) as l_our_new_list then across l_our_new_list as it loop io.put_string (it.item) io.new_line end l_our_new_list.extend ("%N I'm back.%N") l_our_new_list.independent_store (l_soc2) end soc2.close end end end

Note that at the end the server should not only closes the original socket soc1 but also unlinks it. It is recommended to have a Rescue clause which, as here, ensures that the socket will be closed and unlinked if the system terminates abnormally before its term. Here now is the client class: class OUR_CLIENT inherit SOCKET_RESOURCES creation make feature make -- Establish communication with server, and exchange messages local soc1: detachable UNIX_STREAM_SOCKET do create soc1.make_client ("/tmp/here") soc1.connect process (soc1) -- See below soc1.cleanup rescue if soc1 /= Void then soc1.cleanup end end process (soc1: UNIX_STREAM_SOCKET) -- Build a message to server, receive answer, build -- modified message from that answer, and print it. local our_list: OUR_MESSAGE do create our_list.make our_list.extend("This") our_list.extend (" is") our_list.extend (" our") our_list.extend (" test") our_list.independent_store (soc1) if attached {OUR_MESSAGE} our_list.retrieved (soc1) as l_our_new_list then across l_our_new_list as it loop io.putstring (it.item) end io.new_line end end end

Communication between two different machines

Note: The example classes discussed in this section appear in the subdirectory two_mach of the example directory

Let us now assume that the client and the server will run on two separate machines. Instead of UNIX_ sockets, we must now use sockets of type NETWORK_STREAM_SOCKET.

The available creation procedures are slightly different. The server will be set up so as to listen to clients from any machine; it designates a port, identified by an integer, on which it will listen. The socket creation on the server side is then create soc1.make_server_port (2000)

For the client, the creation will specify two elements of information: the port number and the server. The server argument, a string, identifies the machine used as a server; it may be the host name of that machine, for example "serverhost" as used in the example; or it can be the machine's internet address, made of a sequence of numbers separated by periods, such as "127.0.0.1".

The rest of the classes is as before. class OUR_SERVER inherit SOCKET_RESOURCES STORABLE creation make feature soc1: detachable NETWORK_STREAM_SOCKET make -- Accept communication with client and exchange messages. do create soc1.make_server_by_port (2000) ... The rest as before... end process ... As before ... end end class OUR_CLIENT inherit SOCKET_RESOURCES creation make feature soc1: detachable NETWORK_STREAM_SOCKET make do create soc1.make_client_by_port (2000, "serverhost") ... The rest as before ... end process ... As before ... end end

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