Boost C++ Libraries

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This is the documentation for a snapshot of the develop branch, built from commit dcea408971.
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Handler Tracking

To aid in debugging asynchronous programs, Boost.Asio provides support for handler tracking. When enabled by defining BOOST_ASIO_ENABLE_HANDLER_TRACKING, Boost.Asio writes debugging output to the standard error stream. The output records asynchronous operations and the relationships between their handlers.

This feature is useful when debugging and you need to know how your asynchronous operations are chained together, or what the pending asynchronous operations are. As an illustration, here is the output when you run the HTTP Server example, handle a single request, then shut down via Ctrl+C:

@asio|1589424178.741850|0*1|signal_set@0x7ffee977d878.async_wait
@asio|1589424178.742593|0*2|socket@0x7ffee977d8a8.async_accept
@asio|1589424178.742619|.2|non_blocking_accept,ec=asio.system:11
@asio|1589424178.742625|0|resolver@0x7ffee977d760.cancel
@asio|1589424195.830382|.2|non_blocking_accept,ec=system:0
@asio|1589424195.830413|>2|ec=system:0
@asio|1589424195.830473|2*3|socket@0x7fa71d808230.async_receive
@asio|1589424195.830496|.3|non_blocking_recv,ec=system:0,bytes_transferred=151
@asio|1589424195.830503|2*4|socket@0x7ffee977d8a8.async_accept
@asio|1589424195.830507|.4|non_blocking_accept,ec=asio.system:11
@asio|1589424195.830510|<2|
@asio|1589424195.830529|>3|ec=system:0,bytes_transferred=151
@asio|1589424195.831143|3^5|in 'async_write' (./../../../boost/asio/impl/write.hpp:330)
@asio|1589424195.831143|3*5|socket@0x7fa71d808230.async_send
@asio|1589424195.831186|.5|non_blocking_send,ec=system:0,bytes_transferred=1090
@asio|1589424195.831194|<3|
@asio|1589424195.831218|>5|ec=system:0,bytes_transferred=1090
@asio|1589424195.831263|5|socket@0x7fa71d808230.close
@asio|1589424195.831298|<5|
@asio|1589424199.793770|>1|ec=system:0,signal_number=2
@asio|1589424199.793781|1|socket@0x7ffee977d8a8.close
@asio|1589424199.793809|<1|
@asio|1589424199.793840|>4|ec=asio.system:125
@asio|1589424199.793854|<4|
@asio|1589424199.793883|0|signal_set@0x7ffee977d878.cancel

Each line is of the form:

<tag>|<timestamp>|<action>|<description>

The <tag> is always @asio, and is used to identify and extract the handler tracking messages from the program output.

The <timestamp> is seconds and microseconds from 1 Jan 1970 UTC.

The <action> takes one of the following forms:

>n

The program entered the handler number n. The <description> shows the arguments to the handler.

<n

The program left handler number n.

!n

The program left handler number n due to an exception.

~n

The handler number n was destroyed without having been invoked. This is usually the case for any unfinished asynchronous operations when the io_context is destroyed.

n^m

The handler number n is about to create a new asynchronous operation with completion handler number m. The <description> contains source location information to help identify where in the program the asynchronous operation is being started.

n*m

The handler number n created a new asynchronous operation with completion handler number m. The <description> shows what asynchronous operation was started.

n

The handler number n performed some other operation. The <description> shows what function was called. Currently only close() and cancel() operations are logged, as these may affect the state of pending asynchronous operations.

.n

The implementation performed a system call as part of the asynchronous operation for which handler number n is the completion handler. The <description> shows what function was called and its results. These tracking events are only emitted when using a reactor-based implementation.

Where the <description> shows a synchronous or asynchronous operation, the format is <object-type>@<pointer>.<operation>. For handler entry, it shows a comma-separated list of arguments and their values.

As shown above, Each handler is assigned a numeric identifier. Where the handler tracking output shows a handler number of 0, it means that the action was performed outside of any handler.

Adding Location Information

Programs may augment the handler tracking output's location information by using the macro BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_LOCATION in the source code. For example:

#define HANDLER_LOCATION \
  BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_LOCATION((__FILE__, __LINE__, __func__))

// ...

void do_read()
{
  HANDLER_LOCATION;

  auto self(shared_from_this());
  socket_.async_read_some(boost::asio::buffer(data_, max_length),
      [this, self](boost::system::error_code ec, std::size_t length)
      {
        HANDLER_LOCATION;

        if (!ec)
        {
          do_write(length);
        }
      });
}

With the additional location information available, the handler tracking output may include a call stack of source locations:

@asio|1589423304.861944|>7|ec=system:0,bytes_transferred=5
@asio|1589423304.861952|7^8|in 'async_write' (./../../../boost/asio/impl/write.hpp:330)
@asio|1589423304.861952|7^8|called from 'do_write' (handler_tracking/async_tcp_echo_server.cpp:62)
@asio|1589423304.861952|7^8|called from 'operator()' (handler_tracking/async_tcp_echo_server.cpp:51)
@asio|1589423304.861952|7*8|socket@0x7ff61c008230.async_send
@asio|1589423304.861975|.8|non_blocking_send,ec=system:0,bytes_transferred=5
@asio|1589423304.861980|<7|

Furthermore, if std::source_location or std::experimental::source_location are available, the use_awaitable_t token (when default-constructed or used as a default completion token) will also cause handler tracking to output a source location for each newly created asynchronous operation. A use_awaitable_t object may also be explicitly constructed with location information.

Visual Representations

The handler tracking output may be post-processed using the included handlerviz.pl tool to create a visual representation of the handlers (requires the GraphViz tool dot).

Custom Tracking

Handling tracking may be customised by defining the BOOST_ASIO_CUSTOM_HANDLER_TRACKING macro to the name of a header file (enclosed in "" or <>). This header file must implement the following preprocessor macros:

Macro

Description

BOOST_ASIO_INHERIT_TRACKED_HANDLER

Specifies a base class for classes that implement asynchronous operations. When used, the macro immediately follows the class name, so it must have the form : public my_class.

BOOST_ASIO_ALSO_INHERIT_TRACKED_HANDLER

Specifies a base class for classes that implement asynchronous operations. When used, the macro follows other base classes, so it must have the form , public my_class.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_TRACKING_INIT(args)

An expression that is used to initialise the tracking mechanism.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_LOCATION(args)

A variable declaration that is used to define a source code location. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the file name, line number, and function name.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_CREATION(args)

An expression that is called on creation of an asynchronous operation. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the owning execution context, the tracked handler, the name of the object type, a pointer to the object, the object's native handle, and the operation name.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_COMPLETION(args)

An expression that is called on completion of an asynchronous operation. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the tracked handler.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_INVOCATION_BEGIN(args)

An expression that is called immediately before a completion handler is invoked. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the arguments to the completion handler.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_INVOCATION_END

An expression that is called immediately after a completion handler is invoked.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_OPERATION(args)

An expression that is called when some synchronous object operation is called (such as close() or cancel()). args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the owning execution context, the name of the object type, a pointer to the object, the object's native handle, and the operation name.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_REGISTRATION(args)

An expression that is called when an object is registered with the reactor. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the owning execution context, the object's native handle, and a unique registration key.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_DEREGISTRATION(args)

An expression that is called when an object is deregistered from the reactor. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the owning execution context, the object's native handle, and a unique registration key.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_READ_EVENT

A bitmask constant used to identify reactor read readiness events.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_WRITE_EVENT

A bitmask constant used to identify reactor write readiness events.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_ERROR_EVENT

A bitmask constant used to identify reactor error readiness events.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_EVENTS(args)

An expression that is called when an object registered with the reactor becomes ready. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the owning execution context, the unique registration key, and a bitmask of the ready events.

BOOST_ASIO_HANDLER_REACTOR_OPERATION(args)

An expression that is called when the implementation performs a system call as part of a reactor-based asynchronous operation. args is a parenthesised function argument list containing the tracked handler, the operation name, the error code produced by the operation, and (optionally) the number of bytes transferred.

See Also

Handler tracking examples.


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