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zactor - Class for simple actor framework


//  This is a stable class, and may not change except for emergencies. It
//  is provided in stable builds.
//  This class has draft methods, which may change over time. They are not
//  in stable releases, by default. Use --enable-drafts to enable.
// Actors get a pipe and arguments from caller
typedef void (zactor_fn) (

zsock_t *pipe, void *args); // Create a new actor passing arbitrary arguments reference. CZMQ_EXPORT zactor_t *
zactor_new (zactor_fn task, void *args); // Destroy an actor. CZMQ_EXPORT void
zactor_destroy (zactor_t **self_p); // Send a zmsg message to the actor, take ownership of the message // and destroy when it has been sent. CZMQ_EXPORT int
zactor_send (zactor_t *self, zmsg_t **msg_p); // Receive a zmsg message from the actor. Returns NULL if the actor // was interrupted before the message could be received, or if there // was a timeout on the actor. // Caller owns return value and must destroy it when done. CZMQ_EXPORT zmsg_t *
zactor_recv (zactor_t *self); // Probe the supplied object, and report if it looks like a zactor_t. CZMQ_EXPORT bool
zactor_is (void *self); // Probe the supplied reference. If it looks like a zactor_t instance, // return the underlying libzmq actor handle; else if it looks like // a libzmq actor handle, return the supplied value. CZMQ_EXPORT void *
zactor_resolve (void *self); // Return the actor's zsock handle. Use this when you absolutely need // to work with the zsock instance rather than the actor. CZMQ_EXPORT zsock_t *
zactor_sock (zactor_t *self); // Self test of this class. CZMQ_EXPORT void
zactor_test (bool verbose); #ifdef CZMQ_BUILD_DRAFT_API // Function to be called on zactor_destroy. Default behavior is to send zmsg_t with string "$TERM" in a first frame. // // An example - to send $KTHXBAI string // // if (zstr_send (self, "$KTHXBAI") == 0) // zsock_wait (self); typedef void (zactor_destructor_fn) (
zactor_t *self); // *** Draft method, for development use, may change without warning *** // Change default destructor by custom function. Actor MUST be able to handle new message instead of default $TERM. CZMQ_EXPORT void
zactor_set_destructor (zactor_t *self, zactor_destructor_fn destructor); #endif // CZMQ_BUILD_DRAFT_API Please add '@interface' section in './../src/zactor.c'.


The zactor class provides a simple actor framework. It replaces the CZMQ zthread class, which had a complex API that did not fit the CLASS standard. A CZMQ actor is implemented as a thread plus a PAIR-PAIR pipe. The constructor and destructor are always synchronized, so the caller can be sure all resources are created, and destroyed, when these calls complete. (This solves a major problem with zthread, that a caller could not be sure when a child thread had finished.)

A zactor_t instance acts like a zsock_t and you can pass it to any CZMQ method that would take a zsock_t argument, including methods in zframe, zmsg, zstr, and zpoller. (zloop somehow escaped and needs catching.)

An actor function MUST call zsock_signal (pipe) when initialized and MUST listen to pipe and exit on $TERM command.

Please add @discuss section in ./../src/zactor.c.


From zactor_test method.

zactor_t *actor = zactor_new (echo_actor, "Hello, World");
assert (actor);
zstr_sendx (actor, "ECHO", "This is a string", NULL);
char *string = zstr_recv (actor);
assert (streq (string, "This is a string"));
freen (string);
zactor_destroy (&actor);
// custom destructor
// KTHXBAI_actor ends on "$KTHXBAI" string
zactor_t *KTHXBAI = zactor_new (KTHXBAI_actor, NULL);
assert (KTHXBAI);
// which is the one sent by KTHXBAI_destructor
zactor_set_destructor (KTHXBAI, KTHXBAI_destructor);
zactor_destroy (&KTHXBAI);
// custom destructor
// destructor using bsend/brecv
zactor_t *BSEND = zactor_new (BSEND_actor, NULL);
assert (BSEND);
zactor_set_destructor (BSEND, BSEND_destructor);
zactor_destroy (&BSEND);
#if defined (__WINDOWS__)


The czmq manual was written by the authors in the AUTHORS file.


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Copyright (c) the Contributors as noted in the AUTHORS file. This file is part of CZMQ, the high-level C binding for 0MQ: This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can obtain one at LICENSE included with the czmq distribution.


01/17/2021 CZMQ 4.2.1