Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


Introducing DBus-ASIO

How and why we built a new D-Bus library from the ground up

Modern software needs inter-process communication. Often through DBus. But the state of the existing libraries are more perfunctory, than active. Consequently, the limits of these libraries become apparent when you go beyond a single thread, are limited to standard libraries, or use anything other than a classical event loop. In this talk we cover the journey, from the realisation of the problem, the guiding development tenets, to the implementation of a library that covers everything from the low-level protocol and high-level C++ interface.

We start with a breakdown on the whys and wherefores of the choices made, be it C++11 or C++14, to fork or not to fork existing code, or whether boost::asio should be used.

We continue with a discussion on the implementation details, such as the pitfalls in serial protocols, zero-length strings, non-aligned data, and the problems in C++ over C.

We end up with production-quality code, the politics of naming, and a question: will this be the final DBus library we need to write?

Background: D-Bus is an inter-process mechanism that allows communication between multiple programs running on the same machine. Asio is a cross-platform C++ library for network and low-level I/O programming. This talk covers how and why the former was implemented using the latter.


Photo of Steven Goodwin Steven Goodwin