Basic library for managing blc_channel

BLC channel

Functions to easily share data through shared memory (shm_... functions). It is the fastest, and the more econom in memory ( no copy in each process ), way to share informtation between processes.


For exemple you create a channel in one program to write data:

//Creating shared called '/my_channel_name', this program will write on it, it is char ('INT8') with no specific format ('NDEF') of dimension 1 (vector) of 32 elements.

blc_channel my_channel.create("/my_channel_name", BLC_CHANNEL_WRITE, 'INT8', 'NDEF', 1, 32);
snprintf(my_channel.chars, 32, "Hello world !\n");

and read this data in another program:

//Opening shared memory called '/my_channel_name', this program will only read it.

blc_channel my_receiving_channel.open("/my_channel_name", BLC_CHANNEL_READ);
printf("%s", my_receiving_channel.chars);

The second program prints 'Hello world !'.

For more details about type, format and dimensions see blc_array


blc_channel/demo.sh launches two processes.

  • t_channel_reader reading each second the content of '/channel_example' and printing it.
  • t_channel_writer waiting for the user to enter text and filing the channel '/channel_example' with this text. Each second the reader will print this text.

Press 'q' to quit.


The information about the properties of the blc_channels (type, format, sizes) is stored in a special file: /tmp/blc_channels.txt. You are not suppose to use it but you can check at anytime the status of the blc_channels using blc_channels.

You will see all the existing blc_channels, the process reading or writing and the possibility to destroy channels.

On Linux we can see and manipulate a virtual file containing this memory in /run/shm/<name of your shared memory>, on OSX you cannot but anyway it is only used for debug.


Two semaphores associated to the shared memory are created:

  • blc_channle<id>_new_data0 which indicates that new data is available on the shared memory
  • blc_channle<id>_ack_data0 which acknowledges that the data has been read

Proccesses which do not consider synchronisation use starting char '/'

  • /channel_name means no synchronization
  • .channel_name means the reader waits for new data from the writer
  • ^channel_name means the writer waits for the reader to read and acknowledge the data
  • :channel_name (default) means both direction synchronization. The writer waits for acknowledgement and the reader wait for new data from the writer.

While opening a channel

In synchronous mode, we assume there is only one reader and writter at a time

  • new 0, ack 1: The data has been read, the receiver is ready
  • new 1, ack 0: New data is ready for reading
  • new 0, ack 0(1): The data is being read or written. This is a scenario where you do not know if you have to wait or if the channel was badly closed
  • new 1, ack 1(2): The new data has not been read yet. This must not happen as the risk is that you can read and write at the same time

At the initialisation, when a channel is created, ack is set to 1

If you have a problem, case (1) you can use the tools blc_channels to manually unlock ack or new.

C/C++ documentation

To see the documentation for C++, execute : ./doc_api blibs/blc_channel in your blaar directory. Add -c option if you want the plain C api.