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alda-client-java

A Java command-line client for Alda, a music programming language for musicians.

Development

Overview

The Alda client is a fairly straightforward Java CLI app that uses JCommander to parse command-line arguments.

Interaction with servers is done via ZeroMQ TCP requests with a JSON payload. The Alda client takes command-line arguments, translates them into a JSON request, and sends the request to the server. For more details about the way we use ZeroMQ, see ZeroMQ Architecture.

Unless specified via the -H/--host option, the Alda client assumes the server is running locally and sends requests to localhost. The default port is 27713.

Running alda start forks a new Alda process in the background, passing it the (hidden) server command to start the server. Server output is hidden from the user, although the client will report if there is an error.

To see server output (including error stacktraces) for development purposes, you can start a server in the foreground by running alda server. You may specify a port via the -p/--port option (e.g. alda -p 2000 server) -- just make sure you're sending requests from the client to the right port (e.g. alda -p 2000 play -f my-score.alda).

To stop a running server, run alda stop.

Automated test suite

To run the automated test suite:

boot test

These are integration tests that rely upon an alda executable being available at a known location. By default, it is assumed to be in /usr/local/bin, but if you have alda in another location (using /usr/bin here as an example), you can specify the location via the ALDA_EXECUTABLE environment variable:

ALDA_EXECUTABLE=/usr/bin/alda boot test

Manual testing

To run the Alda client locally to test changes you've made to the code, you can run:

boot dev -x "args here"

This requires that you have the Boot build tool installed.

The -x argument must be a single string containing everything you would put after alda when using a release build of the Alda client.

For example, to test changes to the way the alda play command plays a file, you can run:

boot dev -x "play --file /path/to/file.alda"

One caveat to running the client this way is that the boot process does not have the necessary permissions to start a new process. This means you won't be able to start an Alda server via the client by running boot dev -x "up" or boot dev -x "server", for example.

You can, however, start a server via a release build (e.g. alda -v -p 12345 server) and use the boot dev task to talk to that server on that port.

Example

Run a server in verbose (debug) mode in one terminal:

$ alda -v -p 12345 server
16-Nov-17 09:08:44 skeggox.local INFO [alda.server] - Binding frontend socket on port 12345...
16-Nov-17 09:08:44 skeggox.local INFO [alda.server] - Binding backend socket on port 61004...
16-Nov-17 09:08:44 skeggox.local INFO [alda.server] - Spawning 2 workers...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Receiving message from frontend...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Forwarding message to worker 008B96F216...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Forwarding backend response to frontend...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Forwarding message to worker 008B96F216...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Forwarding backend response to frontend...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Forwarding message to worker 008B96F216...
16-Nov-17 09:09:37 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Forwarding backend response to frontend...
16-Nov-17 09:09:44 skeggox.local DEBUG [alda.server] - Supervisor approves of the current number of workers.
16-Nov-17 09:09:47 skeggox.local INFO [alda.server] - Murdering workers...
16-Nov-17 09:09:47 skeggox.local INFO [alda.server] - Destroying zmq context...
16-Nov-17 09:09:47 skeggox.local INFO [alda.server] - Exiting.

Test client changes in another terminal:

$ boot dev -x "-p 12345 status"
Compiling 12 Java source files...
[12345] Server up (2/2 workers available, backend port: 61004)

$ boot dev -x "-p 12345 play -c 'piano: c d e'"
Compiling 12 Java source files...
[12345] Parsing/evaluating...
[12345] Playing...

$ boot dev -x "-p 12345 down"
Compiling 12 Java source files...
[12345] Stopping Alda server...
[12345] Server down ✓

License

Copyright © 2012-2018 Dave Yarwood et al

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License version 1.0.

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