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Re: [Libguestfs] GObject bindings overview

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 12:07:47PM +0000, Matthew Booth wrote:
> There are a couple of points in here I'm still not 100% happy with.
> Specifically the handling of FBuffer and the Cancellable flag. Both
> are explained below. I'm interested in suggestions.
> A parallel struct is created for each libguestfs struct type. A
> boxed type is created for each parallel struct. It's field types are
> all mapped trivially to gobject basic types (e.g. gchar *, gint32)
> except FBuffer. FBuffer is mapped as:
>  guint8 *<field>
>  guint32 <field>_size
> Unfortunately I can see no way to attach annotation to these fields,
> so the bindings do not appreciate that these fields are related. I'm
> not happy with this at all, so I may try manual tweaking of the .gir
> to see if we can turn these into a single returned array where
> possible.

Those two fields look just like GByteArray

  struct GByteArray {
    guint8 *data;
    guint	  len;

Can you just outpout that - I expect bindings will already know
how to deal with that.

> Cancellation:
> *************
> Certain apis are cancellable. These all take a GCancellable as the
> final argument before GError **. This can be passed NULL if
> cancellation is not required. While I have written cancellation, I
> have not yet tested it *at all* other than it compiles and works
> correctly when NULL is passed in.
> We recently made Cancellable an explicit flag whereas before it was
> implicit if the api had a FileIn or FileOut argument. This means it
> is now possible to break the GObject api without breaking the C api
> with the addition of a Cancellable flag. What potential solutions
> are there to this problem? I can see:
> • Live with breaking the GObject api if it ever comes up.
> • Never add Cancellable to an existing api.
> • Automatically add a GCancellable argument to all GObject apis,
> just in case.

I think option 2 is the only long term viable approach. If any existing
APIs needs to be made cancellable, then define a new API that is the
same, but with the cancellable flag set.

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