[Rprotobuf-yada] rpc first steps

Romain François francoisromain at free.fr
Tue Nov 17 12:34:11 CET 2009

On 11/17/2009 12:19 PM, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:
> On 17 November 2009 at 09:31, Romain François wrote:
> | One of the things we have not played with yet is the rcp mechanism that
> | comes with protobuf. see
> | http://code.google.com/apis/protocolbuffers/docs/proto.html#services
> I amd very confused about this but it sometimes states that ProtoBuf has no
> RPC besides some stubs whereas, say, Thrift has a full RPC stack.
> I saw Google's class stubs but what exactly do you think we can make happen
> without having to use Rserve and/or Connections?
> Dirk

I am confused about it too. Google is the first to admit that this part 
of protobuf is not the best designed. Apparently their rpc stack is too 
complex so they cannot open source it easily, which is why they came up 
with these stubs.

The only thing the official protobuf provides are the stubs generated by 
the compiler (can't use this because we work at runtime using reflection).

There are some third party RPC implementations available. I'll check 
what they have to offer.

It seems that basically you are left on your own when it comes to the 
concrete rpc implementation.

What I have in mind is a simple tcp/ip sockets based mechanism that 
connects two R peers (I'd like it to be symmetric rather than 
client/server), which is why I am looking at xGD. This is Simon's 
external graphics device using sockets to basically forward graphics 
device low level calls to some other process. This is quite promising.

The other thing I want to have a look at is the new dynamic help system 
that came with R 2.10.0. R now embeds a simple web server that displays 
html help pages that are dynamically created at runtime. I am wondering 
if this can be used to serve binary content as well as html pages. BTW, 
the web server is also Simon's (at least he first commited it to the R's 
repository). It might be worth sending him an email about this.


Romain Francois
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