C convenience lib (was Re: Is dbus_pending_call_set_notify() thread safe?)

Havoc Pennington hp at redhat.com
Tue Jul 31 21:20:15 PDT 2007


Fan Wu wrote:
> I understand your concern of convenience API. But I think right now
> there is market for easy to use, lightweight C bindings of libdbus.

I do agree btw, but I want to see someone really take this on rather 
than feature-creeping libdbus in a haphazard way. I already feel bad 
about most of dbus-bus.h.

I recently posted that "gbus" git repo, and the header file in there 
shows what I think are some of the most interesting convenience features 
to have. That sketch of an API uses GLib, but doesn't do any data 
marshaling / type conversion stuff and really only uses GLib for the 
main loop.

One problem is that without deciding on the main loop vs. threads 
question, and which main loop if using a main loop, it's kind of tough 
to make a genuinely convenient API.

However, it's possible something like that "gbus" rough sketch could 
just assume "there will be some main loop and someone doing dispatch" 
and that would be good enough.

At that point perhaps it makes the most sense to cram most of the 
convenience functionality there into libdbus itself, to avoid another 
copy of the libdbus underpinnings (DBusString, main loop hooks, 

If we did this, the only extreme pain in a plain C app using no binding 
would be setting up the main loop.

It probably adds only 20-30K to libdbus and with so many people using 
raw libdbus it might be worth it.

If someone ran with the basic concept of just doing a small API that 
made the common operations a bit easier and implemented introspection, I 
think it would be very popular.

Any takers? :-)

I don't claim to know the perfect balance of bindings and libdbus and so 
forth here, I would encourage experimentation and trying stuff out.


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