Kea  2.1.7-git
asiolink Namespace Reference

A wrapper interface for the ASIO library. More...

Detailed Description

A wrapper interface for the ASIO library.

The asiolink namespace is used to define a set of wrapper interfaces for the ASIO library.

Kea uses the Boost version of ASIO in its header-only mode, i.e., does not require a separate library object to be linked, and thus lowers the bar for introduction.

But the advantage comes with its own costs: since the header-only version includes more definitions in public header files, it tends to trigger more compiler warnings for our own sources, and, depending on the compiler options, may make the build fail.

We also found it may be tricky to use ASIO and standard C++ libraries in a single translation unit, i.e., a .cc file: depending on the order of including header files, ASIO may or may not work on some platforms.

This wrapper interface is intended to centralize these problematic issues in a single sub module. Other Kea modules should simply include asiolink.h and use the wrapper API instead of including ASIO header files and using ASIO-specific classes directly.

This wrapper may be used for other IO libraries if and when we want to switch, but generality for that purpose is not the primary goal of this module. The resulting interfaces are thus straightforward mapping to the ASIO counterparts.

One obvious drawback of this approach is performance overhead due to the additional layer. We should eventually evaluate the cost of the wrapper abstraction in benchmark tests. Another drawback is that the wrapper interfaces don't provide all features of ASIO (at least for the moment). We should also re-evaluate the maintenance overhead of providing necessary wrappers as we develop more.

On the other hand, we may be able to exploit the wrapper approach to simplify the interfaces (by limiting the usage) and unify performance optimization points.

As for optimization, we may want to provide a custom allocator for the placeholder of callback handlers: