b2g/simulator/packages/subprocess/README.md
author Alexandre Poirot <poirot.alex@gmail.com>
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:50:40 -0500
changeset 189778 1e85f3f0b525ef04f18ed4e2caff5f1efb71f24f
parent 186076 81f210d3ad52c0fe6f41a895444da1d91cb30b7a
permissions -rw-r--r--
Bug 944451 - Land simulator addon into mozilla-central. r=vingtetun, r=gps, r=paul

<h2>What's that?</h2>
Simply package enigmail hard work on providing IPC feature in mozilla platform.
So we are able to launch child proccesses from javascript,
and in our case, from addon-sdk libraries :)

<h2>Sample of code:</h2>
  This object allows to start a process, and read/write data to/from it
  using stdin/stdout/stderr streams.
  Usage example:

   const subprocess = require("subprocess");
   var p = subprocess.call({
     command:     '/bin/foo',
     arguments:   ['-v', 'foo'],
     environment: [ "XYZ=abc", "MYVAR=def" ],
     charset: 'UTF-8',
     workdir: '/home/foo',
     //stdin: "some value to write to stdin\nfoobar",
     stdin: function(stdin) {
       stdin.write("some value to write to stdin\nfoobar");
       stdin.close();
     },
     stdout: function(data) {
       dump("got data on stdout:" + data + "\n");
     },
     stderr: function(data) {
       dump("got data on stderr:" + data + "\n");
     },
     done: function(result) {
       dump("process terminated with " + result.exitCode + "\n");
     },
     mergeStderr: false
   });
   p.wait(); // wait for the subprocess to terminate
             // this will block the main thread,
             // only do if you can wait that long


  Description of parameters:
  --------------------------
  Apart from <command>, all arguments are optional.

  command:     either a |nsIFile| object pointing to an executable file or a
              String containing the platform-dependent path to an executable
              file.

  arguments:   optional string array containing the arguments to the command.

  environment: optional string array containing environment variables to pass
               to the command. The array elements must have the form
               "VAR=data". Please note that if environment is defined, it
               replaces any existing environment variables for the subprocess.

  charset:     Output is decoded with given charset and a string is returned.
               If charset is undefined, "UTF-8" is used as default.
               To get binary data, set this to null and the returned string
               is not decoded in any way.

  workdir:     optional; String containing the platform-dependent path to a
               directory to become the current working directory of the subprocess.

  stdin:       optional input data for the process to be passed on standard
               input. stdin can either be a string or a function.
               A |string| gets written to stdin and stdin gets closed;
               A |function| gets passed an object with write and close function.
               Please note that the write() function will return almost immediately;
               data is always written asynchronously on a separate thread.

  stdout:      an optional function that can receive output data from the
               process. The stdout-function is called asynchronously; it can be
               called mutliple times during the execution of a process.
               At a minimum at each occurance of \n or \r.
               Please note that null-characters might need to be escaped
               with something like 'data.replace(/\0/g, "\\0");'.

  stderr:      an optional function that can receive stderr data from the
               process. The stderr-function is called asynchronously; it can be
               called mutliple times during the execution of a process. Please
               note that null-characters might need to be escaped with
               something like 'data.replace(/\0/g, "\\0");'.
               (on windows it only gets called once right now)

  done:        optional function that is called when the process has terminated.
               The exit code from the process available via result.exitCode. If
               stdout is not defined, then the output from stdout is available
               via result.stdout. stderr data is in result.stderr

  mergeStderr: optional boolean value. If true, stderr is merged with stdout;
               no data will be provided to stderr.


  Description of object returned by subprocess.call(...)
  ------------------------------------------------------
  The object returned by subprocess.call offers a few methods that can be
  executed:

  wait():         waits for the subprocess to terminate. It is not required to use
                  wait; done will be called in any case when the subprocess terminated.

  kill(hardKill): kill the subprocess. Any open pipes will be closed and
                  done will be called.
                  hardKill [ignored on Windows]:
                   - false: signal the process terminate (SIGTERM)
                   - true:  kill the process (SIGKILL)


  Other methods in subprocess
  ---------------------------

  registerDebugHandler(functionRef):   register a handler that is called to get
                                       debugging information
  registerLogHandler(functionRef):     register a handler that is called to get error
                                       messages

  example:
     subprocess.registerLogHandler( function(s) { dump(s); } );


<h2>Credits:</h2>
All enigmail team working on IPC component.
  The Initial Developer of this code is Jan Gerber.
  Portions created by Jan Gerber <j@mailb.org>,
  Patrick Brunschwig (author of almost all code) <patrick@mozilla-enigmail.org>,
  Ramalingam Saravanan (from enigmail team) <svn@xmlterm.org>