RTT Deployment Next Generation

Basic idea

Split the coordinatior into

  • a slim coordinator that only raises and receives events

  • a Configurator, who is configured with a set of configurations. When a configuration event is received, the respective configuration is applied.

Deployment is then just an other case of Coordination.


dng tool

The dng command line tool is the typical way to use the dng module, which supports deploying configurations in Configurator components and optionally associated Coordination FSM.

$ ./dng -h
DNG next generation deployer.
usage dng OPTIONS -c <conf file>
   -c           configuration file to launch
   -fsm         rfsm coordination fsm file
   -prefsm      script to prepare the environment before fsm is loaded.
   -check       dont run, just validate configuration file
   -timer       also create a timer component and hook it up with coordinator.
   -h           show this.

After starting a system run help() to get help on runtime commands:

> help()
   SE_conf(evid)      send event to configurator
   SE_fsm(evid)       send event to FSM (if used)
   upd()              update peers table

A global table peers containing all currently known peers is available.


The basic structure looks like this:

return config {
    conf_name1 = config {
       action2{param1, param2, ...},

    conf_name2 = config {


  • comma after each statement
  • curley brackets!

Post and preconf state specification

The pre_conf_state and post_conf_state statements allow to switch components to certain states before respectively after applying the configuration. The syntax explained by the following example:

pre_conf_state = { "comp1:Running", "comp2:Ignore", "_default:Stopped" }

This will switch comp1 to state Running, leave the state of comp2 unchanged and switch all others (_default) to state Stopped prior to applying the configuration. The given order is respected!

The following states are available:

  • PreOperational (short U)
  • Stopped (short S)
  • Running (short R)
  • Ignore (short I)

Using the short notation, the above could be written more tersely as:

pre_conf_state = { "comp1:R", "comp2:I", "_default:S" }

Available actions

For RTT, the following actions are available:

importing packages

import{ "pack" }

imports package "pack".

Creating components

    name="c1", type="OCL::HelloWorld",
    period=0.01, priority=99, peers={ "c2", "c3" },

Creates a component. Only name and type are mandatory.

Connecting ports

    from="c1.port1", to="c2.serviceA.port2",
    connpol={ type=rtt.globals.BUFFER, size=16 }

creates a dataflow connections between two ports. Supports services.

connpol is a Lua table representing a RTT::ConnPolicy:

> print(rtt.Variable("ConnPolicy"))

Setting properties

prop_set{"componentA.propZ", value=<value> }

<value> can a simple Lua type, a Lua table that will be assigned using rttlib.varfromtab or a file-spec using the following syntax:


The file can be either in the "traditional" RTT cpf format or using a json representation. The file extension matters! (Writing json files can be achieved with the libdng functions write_props_json(comp, filename) or dump_props({comp1, comp2,...}, dir)).

To avoid hardcoding absolute paths, the hash '#' syntax can be used to define package relative paths:


Writing to ports

port_write{ port="compA.portX", value }

value can be a simple Lua type (number, string), or a table that will be assigned to the RTT type using rttlib.varfromtab or an rtt.Variable.

NOTE: the port and connection will be created when used for the first time. Thus, setting an initial / dummy value during startup will avoid delays later on.

Calling operations

Calling operations can be done as follows:

call{"compA.Op1", param1, ...}
call{"compA.ServiceA.op2, param1, param2 }


A simple self-contained example can be found in tests/:

./dng -timer -c tests/simple.lua -fsm tests/simple_fsm.lua


  • Needs some testing.
  • Add support for parametric configurations.


This software is described in more detail in:

M. Klotzbuecher, G. Biggs, and H. Bruyninckx, "Pure coordination using the coordinator–configurator pattern" in Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Domain-Specific Languages and models for ROBotic systems, November 2012. Japan.


The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. FP7-ICT-231940-BRICS (Best Practice in Robotics)