W3C Sample Code Library libwww Protocol Class

The Protocol Class

**        (c) COPYRIGHT MIT 1995.
**        Please first read the full copyright statement in the file COPYRIGH.

The Protocol class defines an application level protocol (HTTP, FTP, Gopher, etc.) to be used by libwww. Note that access to the local file system also is considered to be an appliaction level protocol treated identically to for example the HTTP protocol.

The Protocol class does only know about the application layer protocol and it relies on the Transport Class to do the actualt communication with the network, the local file system etc. The protocol class defines an access method for both a client and a server. A typical client application would probably only want to use the client method and a server only the server method. However, any application can use both which allows it to seemlessly to change between server and client profile as needed.

All protocol modules are dynamically bound to an access scheme. Take for example the address http://www.w3.org which has the access scheme http and if we have a protocol module capable of handling HTTP then we can make the binding between http and this module. As mentioned in the introduction to this chapter, the Library already comes with a large set of protocol module, including HTTP so all we have to do in this case is to register the HTTP module to the Library as being capable of handling http URLs.

Libwww comes with a default set of protocols including the ones mentioned above which can be initiated using the function HTProtocolInit() in HTInit module

One special case is the support for access to WAIS databases. WAIS has its own code Library called freeWAIS which is required in order to directly access wais URLs. We shall not describe in describe in detail here how this can be enabled as it is described in the WWW-WAIS gateway.

This module is implemented by HTProt.c, and it is a part of the W3C Sample Code Library.

#ifndef HTPROT_H
#define HTPROT_H

typedef struct _HTProtocol HTProtocol;
typedef u_short HTProtocolId;

#include "HTReq.h"
#include "HTAnchor.h"
#include "HTEvent.h"
#include "HTTrans.h"

An access scheme module takes as a parameter a socket (which is an invalid socket the first time the function is called), a request structure containing details of the request, and the action by which the (valid) socket was selected in the event loop. When the protocol class routine is called, the anchor element in the request is already valid (made valid by HTAccess).

Creation and Deletion Methods

Add an Protocol

This functions registers a protocol module and binds it to a specific access acheme (the part before the first colon in a URL). For example, the HTTP  client module is bound to http URLs. The callback function is the function to be called for loading.

typedef int HTProtCallback (SOCKET, HTRequest *);

extern BOOL HTProtocol_add (const char *               name,
                            const char *        transport,
                            HTProtocolId        port,
                            BOOL                preemptive,
                            HTProtCallback *        client,
                            HTProtCallback *        server);

Delete a Protocol

This functions deletes a registered protocol module so that it can not be used for accessing a resource anymore.

extern BOOL HTProtocol_delete (const char * name);

Remove ALL Registered Protocols

This is the garbage collection function. It is called by HTLibTerminate()

extern BOOL HTProtocol_deleteAll (void);

Protocol Class Methods

Find a Protocol Object

You can search the list of registered protocol objects as a function of the access acheme. If an access scheme is found then the protocol object is returned.

extern HTProtocol * HTProtocol_find (HTRequest * request, const char * access);

Get the callback functions

You can get the callback functions registered together with a protocol object using the following methods.

extern HTProtCallback * HTProtocol_client (HTProtocol * protocol);
extern HTProtCallback * HTProtocol_server (HTProtocol * protocol);

Get the default Protocol ID

Each protocol is registered with a default protocol ID which is the default port number that this protocol is using. In the case of FTP it is 21, for HTTP, it is 80 and for NNTP it is 119.

extern HTProtocolId HTProtocol_id (HTProtocol * protocol);

Get the Protocol Name

Get the protocol name that was registered when the protocol object was created

extern const char * HTProtocol_name (HTProtocol * protocol);

Is Access Scheme Preemptive

Returns YES if the implementation of the access scheme supports preemptive access only.

extern BOOL HTProtocol_preemptive (HTProtocol * protocol);

Binding to the Transport Class

An application protocol is registered together with a transport protocol in order to communicate with the thansport layer.

extern BOOL HTProtocol_setTransport (HTProtocol * protoccol,
                                     const char * transport);
extern const char * HTProtocol_transport (HTProtocol * protocol);
#endif /* HTPROT_H */

@(#) $Id: HTProt.html,v 2.25 1999/12/01 13:07:07 kahan Exp $