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oni / cf / cf_gadget.mli

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(** Monadic composition of complex stream processors.  An experimental
    interface for constructing interactive functional systems in a single
    thread of control.
*)

(** {6 Overview}
    
    This module implements a marginally more general version of the Gadget
    system described in Chapter 30 of Magnus Carlsson's and Thomas Hallgren's
    joint {{:http://www.cs.chalmers.se/~hallgren/Thesis/}Ph.D. thesis}.
    
    In the context of this module, a "gadget" is a monad that evaluates into
    a {!Cf_flow} object, capable of alternately reading from a source of input
    values and writing to a sink of output values.  The continuation monad is
    specialized over an abstract "work" monad type, and a scheduler handles
    the calls and jumps between multiple simultaneous work units, communicating
    with one another over a very lightweight message passing abstraction called
    a "wire".
    
    The abstract work monad is a kind of state-continuation monad for
    operations over the internal {!Cf_flow} value.  The operations it supports
    are lifted into the gadget monad, and they are summarized as follows:
    
    {ul
        {- {i start}: launch a new gadget in the scheduler.}
        {- {i wire}: create a new message wire.}
        {- {i put}: send a message on a wire.}
        {- {i get}: create a gate for receiving messages on a wire.}
        {- {i guard}: receive a message from one of several gates.}
        {- {i read}: read a new value from the external input.}
        {- {i write}: write a new value to the external output.}
    }
    
    A wire is logically composed of a receiver and a transmitter, with weak
    mutual references between them.  When either end of the wire is reclaimed
    by the memory allocator, the other end is automatically rendered into a
    null wire, i.e. receivers never get messages and transmitters put messages
    by discarding them.
    
    A pair of classes are provided to represent the receiver and the
    transmitter on a wire.  Objects of the [rx] class define a [get] method for
    creating a "gate" that can receive a message.  Objects of the [tx] class
    define a [put] method for transmitting a message.  Both objects can be
    constructed with a wire object, and a convenience operators are defined for
    creating a new wire and construction a pair of associated [rx] and [tx]
    objects.
    
    Any gadget may read from the internal input stream or write to the
    external output stream.  Conventionally, it is often simpler to define a
    a reader gadget and a writer gadget to localize these effects.
    
    {b Note}: see Magnus Carlsson's and Thomas Hallgren's joint
    {{:http://www.cs.chalmers.se/~hallgren/Thesis/}Ph.D. thesis} for a complete
    dissertation on the nature of the system of concepts behind this module.
*)

(** {6 Types} *)

(** An functionally compositional work unit in a gadget, encapsulating the
    state-continuation monad for the underlying {!Cf_flow} object.
*)
type ('i, 'o) work

(** A gating sequence for receiving messages using the [guard] function. *)
type ('i, 'o) gate

(** An object capable of delivering messages of type ['x] from a sender to a
    a receiver in a [('i, 'o) work] continuation.
*)
type ('x, 'i, 'o) wire

(** A guard for receiving a message from one or more sources. *)
type ('i, 'o, 'a) guard = (('i, 'o) gate, 'a) Cf_cmonad.t

(** A continuation monad parameterized by work unit type. *)
type ('i, 'o, 'a) t = (('i, 'o) work, 'a) Cf_cmonad.t

(** {6 Functions} *)

(** Use [eval y] to obtain a new flow by evaluating the gadget monad [y]. *)
val eval: ('i, 'o, unit) t -> ('i, 'o) Cf_flow.t

(** Use [start y] to start a new gadget evaluating the gadget [y]. *)
val start: ('i, 'o, unit) t -> ('i, 'o, unit) t

(** Use [guard m] to receive the next message guarded by [m].  The continuation
    bound to the result is discarded and control passes to the scheduler.
*)
val guard: ('i, 'o, unit) guard -> ('i, 'o, 'a) t

(** Use [abort] to abort gadgeting and return to the scheduler.  This is a
    convenient shortcut for [guard Cf_cmonad.nil].
*)
val abort: ('i, 'o, 'a) t

(** Use [wire] to return a new wire for carrying messages of type ['x]. *)
val wire: ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) wire) t

(** Use [wirepair] to return a pair of new wires for carrying messages of type
    ['x] and ['y].
*)
val wirepair: ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) wire * ('y, 'i, 'o) wire) t

(** Use [null] to construct a wire that discards every message transmitted
    without ever delivering it.  Such wires can be useful for default arguments
    to some gadget functions.
*)
val null: ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) wire) t

(** Bind [read] to get the next input value from the external stream. *)
val read: ('i, 'o, 'i) t

(** Bind the result of [write obj] to put the next output value into the
    external stream.
*)
val write: 'o -> ('i, 'o, unit) t

(** {6 Classes} *)

(** The class type of connector objects. *)
class type connector =
    object
        (** Returns a string representation of the wire end identifier. *)
        method id: string
        
        (** Returns [true] if the other end of the wire has not yet been
            reclaimed by the garbage collector.
        *)
        method check: bool
        
        (** Cut the connection between the receiver and the transmitter. *)
        (* method cut: unit *)
    end

(** The class of receiver objects. *)
class ['x, 'i, 'o] rx:
    ('x, 'i, 'o) wire -> (** A wire carrying messages of type ['x]. *)
    object
        inherit connector
        
        (** Use [rx#get f] to produce a guard that receives a message on the
            associated wire by applying the function [f] to it.
        *)
        method get: ('x -> ('i, 'o, unit) t) -> ('i, 'o, unit) guard
    end

(** The class of transmitter objects. *)
class ['x, 'i, 'o] tx:
    ('x, 'i, 'o) wire -> (** A wire carrying messages of type ['x]. *)
    object
        inherit connector
        
        (** Use [tx#put obj] to schedule the message obj for deliver on the
            associated wire.
        *)
        method put: 'x -> ('i, 'o, unit) t
    end

(** {6 Miscellaneous} *)

(** Use [connect m] to construct a new matching pair of [rx] and [tx] objects
    from the wire returned by [m].
*)
val connect:
    ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) wire) t ->
    ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) rx * ('x, 'i, 'o) tx) t

(** Use [simplex] to construct a new matching pair of [rx] and [tx] objects.
    This is a convenient abbreviation of [connect wire].
*)
val simplex: ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) rx * ('x, 'i, 'o) tx) t

(** A pair of convenience types for representing each end of a bundle of two
    wires used for duplex communication.  By convention, a [pad] comprises a
    receiver for control events and a transmitter for notification events, and
    a [fix] comprises the transmitter for control events and the receiver for
    notification events
*)
type ('x, 'y, 'i, 'o) pad = ('x, 'i, 'o) rx * ('y, 'i, 'o) tx
type ('x, 'y, 'i, 'o) fix = ('y, 'i, 'o) rx * ('x, 'i, 'o) tx

(** Use [connectpair m] to construct a new duplex communication channel,
    composed with the wire pair returned by [m].  A matching [fix] and [pad] of
    the channel are returned.
*)
val connectpair:
    ('i, 'o, ('x, 'i, 'o) wire * ('y, 'i, 'o) wire) t ->
    ('i, 'o, ('x, 'y, 'i, 'o) fix * ('x, 'y, 'i, 'o) pad) t

(** Use [duplex] to construct a new duplex communication channel, composed of
    two wires each in opposite flow.  A matching [fix] and [pad] for each
    channel are returned.  This is a convenient abbreviation of
    [connectpair wirepair].
*)
val duplex: ('i, 'o, ('x, 'y, 'i, 'o) fix * ('x, 'y, 'i, 'o) pad) t

(** Use [wrap rx tx w] to start a new gadget that wraps the flow [w], so that
    it reads output from the flow (copying it to [tx] object) and writes input
    to the flow (copying it from the [rx] object).
*)
val wrap:
    ('x, 'i, 'o) #rx -> ('y, 'i, 'o) #tx -> ('x, 'y) Cf_flow.t ->
    ('i, 'o, unit) t

(** Use [inherit \['i, 'o\] next] to derive a class that implements an
    intermediate state in a machine.
*)
class virtual ['i, 'o] next:
    object('self)        
        (** The guard evaluated by this state of the machine. *)
        method virtual private guard: ('i, 'o, unit) guard
        
        (** Use [obj#next] to transition the state of the gadget by applying
            [guard self#guard].
        *)
        method next: 'a. ('i, 'o, 'a) t
    end

(** Use [inherit \['i, 'o\] start] to derive a class to represent the
    initial state of a machine.  It's [start] method initiates the machine
    with the virtual private [guard] method.
*)
class virtual ['i, 'o] start:
    object('self)
        (** The first guard evaluationed by the machine after starting. *)
        method virtual private guard: ('i, 'o, unit) guard
        
        (** Starts a new gadget, i.e. [start (guard self#guard)]. *)
        method start: ('i, 'o, unit) t
    end

(** Use [create f] to create a duplex channel, and apply [f] to the resulting
    [pad] to obtain the initial state of a machine.  The machine is started and
    the corresponding [fix] is returned.
*)
val create:
    (('c, 'n, 'i, 'o) pad -> ('i, 'o) #start) ->
    ('i, 'o, ('c, 'n, 'i, 'o) fix) t

(** Use [createM f] to create a duplex channel, and apply [f] to the resulting
    [pad] to obtain a continuation monad that evaluates to the initial state of
    a machine.  The machine is started and the corresponding [fix] is returned.
*)
val createM:
    (('c, 'n, 'i, 'o) pad -> ('i, 'o, ('i, 'o) #start) t) ->
    ('i, 'o, ('c, 'n, 'i, 'o) fix) t

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