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6.5.2 Components of the Marsyas Scheduler

The scheduler is made up of a collection of files from those used by the scheduler to those that support it. The classes directly related to the scheduler along with their relationships is shown in See fig:asch1.

images/scheduler-class.png

Figure 6.1: Scheduler class diagram.

6.5.2.1 MarSystem

Each MarSystem object has its own scheduler. This makes it possbile to post events on the MarSystem object directly. However, once a MarSystem is contained within another (within a Composite) it no longer responds to tick messages. This means that the schedulers in any of the contained objects will remain dormant. Therefore the only operational scheduler in a network is the one in the MarSystem being ticked.

Posting events on the scheduler is done through a number of updctrl methods. Each one takes a TmTime class as its first parameter.

     void updctrl(EvEvent* me);
     void updctrl(TmTime t, EvEvent* ev);
     void updctrl(TmTime t, Repeat rep, EvEvent* ev);
     void updctrl(TmTime t, std::string cname, MarControlPtr control);
     void updctrl(TmTime t, Repeat rep, std::string cname, MarControlPtr control);

Additional methods for adding and removing timers and discovering the current time on a timer are available. The updtimer method is provided to modify timer parameters at run-time.

     mrs_natural getTime(std::string timer_name);
     void updtimer(std::string cname, TmControlValue value);
     void addTimer(std::string class_name, std::string identifier);
     void addTimer(TmTimer* t);
     void removeTimer(std::string name);
6.5.2.2 Scheduler

It is the schedulers job to see that events are passed to the correct timer when they are posted. On each network tick the scheduler prompts each of the timers it manages to dispatch their pending events.

6.5.2.3 Timers

Timers define a control rate on which events may be scheduled. It is also the job of the timer to manage a queue of events and dispatch them at their scheduled dispatch time.

Creating a custom timer is simply a matter of defining its control rate, its units (ie seconds), and implementing a function to count the elapsed time between ticks. See the TmSampleCount timer as an example of a custom timer.

6.5.2.4 Events

Events are the actions that happen at specified points in time. In Marsyas events inherit from the EvEvent. Custom events are constructed by inheriting from EvEvent and overriding the dispatch and clone methods.

The overridden EvEvent::dispatch method is where the custom event action is defined. Since Marsyas is not threaded the network will block during dispatch. This could result in breaks in audio for real-time audio if the action takes too much time.

The clone method is intended to be used by the TmTimer to copy the event when it's posted. This would force the user to take care of its deletion and avoid confusion about who must do this. At this time clone is not used for this task so that once an EvEvent is posted it is under the control of the TmTimer it was posted on. It should not be reposted or deleted by the user. The search is on for a better solution.

EvEvent supports repetition without having to create new events. The setRepeat(Repeat r) method takes a Repeat object that defines how to repeat the event. The default behaviour is no repetition. A true value from the repeat() method tells the scheduler to repeat the event. This method queries the supplied Repeat object. The getRepeatInterval() returns the repeat rate. The repeat_interval(string interval) may be used to convert the supplied interval to a count. It is used in the EvEvent::doRepeat() method.

6.5.2.5 Repeat

Repetition of events is defined using the Repeat class. This class is simply a tuple of the repetition time interval and repetition count. There are three ways to define repetition. Repeat() defines no repetition. Repeat(string interval) defines an infinite repetition at a rate specified by the supplied interval. Repeat(string interval, mrs_natural count) defines a finite repetition of count repeats to occur every interval.

Time is specified as a single string without a timer name. It is assumed that the specified interval time will be meaningful on the timer that the event is posted in.

6.5.2.6 TmTime

Time is specified using the TmTime class as TmTime(string timer, string time). The first parameter is the name of the timer on which the second parameter has meaning. As an example, TmTime("TmSampleCount/Virtual","5s") specifies 5 seconds from the point of time it is used on the TmSampleCount timer called Virtual.

6.5.2.7 TmTimerManager

Rather than instantiating timers and adding them to the scheduler using the MarSystem::addtimer(TmTimer* tmr) method, timers may be specified and added by name using the MarSystem::addtimer(string name, string ident) method where name is the timer name, ie TmSampleCount, and ident is the unique identifier, ie Virtual. Of course, if the timer name is not known then this method will fail. New timers can be added to the factory using the method laid out in TmTimerManager.cpp. See Timer Factory.