Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (129 mails)

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[yast-devel] improvements in ruby bindings
  • From: Duncan Mac-Vicar Prett <dmacvicar@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 14:00:57 +0100
  • Message-id: <200711231400.57905.dmacvicar@xxxxxxx>

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After quite lot of hacking nights, I managed to get some yast2 ruby bindings
improvements working.

You might know that ycp is not only a language, but a component technology.
Every component using the YaST2 technology can be reused from other YaST
components no matter what language they are written in, as long as there are
bindings for that. That was the original intention of the ruby bindings.

So for example, there is a component call Storage, which is written in the ycp
language. The component (well, it is really a namespace, but YaST sees it as
a namespace component) is located in /usr/share/YaST2/modules/Storage.ycp
(.ybc for the bytecode compiled version) and offers some medium level
functions that YaST uses.

This component needs low level access to the system, for which there is
another module called Libstorage ( located
in /usr/share/YaST2/modules/ ) which in this case is written in
perl which is a language YaST supports as long as you follows some simple

The reason is because libstorage is a C++ library, and there is no easy way to
bind it to the YaST environment, but as YaST supports perl, you can generate
perl bindings for the C++ library and all the library functionality will be
available to other components in YaST.

So repeat after me. ycp is not only a language. It is a communication
protocol, used by YaST component framework.

So, with the ruby bindings, you where able to do:

require 'yast'

m ="Storage")
dp = m.GetDiskPartition("/dev/sda1")
dp.each do | key, value |
puts "#{key} #{value}"

But I was never happy with the syntax. The idea was that you construct a
dynamic proxy for a YaST component and then call methods on it. This had some

* If the component did not exist, you did not get an error till the method
* It was not possible to do introspection to the component, because the
methods call where implemented using the method_missing hook. So basically
the proxy responded to all methods and only raised an error if the equivalent
call to the YaST side was not possible.

So I decided to look for a new approach. This is the result till now:

require 'yast'
require 'ycp/storage'

dp = YCP::Storage::GetDiskPartition("/dev/sda1")
dp.each do | key, value |
puts "#{key} #{value}"

Oh yes, you notice. First, there is no need to instantiate the module, a
classic require will do it. The bindings modify the built-in require method,
so if you require something under ycp/, a module is created on the fly. A
real module, a real symbol. You can also import it manually using YCP::import

Now, you can do this:

puts YCP::Storage.methods

When the module is imported, the symbols are declared in the module, so you
can ask for them in the module. I still need to work on other symbol types,
but it should be straight forward.

The last improvement is that I simplified the C part of the bindings a lot,
and moved most of the magic to pure ruby code, which makes easier to work

Next improvement, the other way around, making nicer how to call ruby
components from any other component.

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