Customizing the kernel

While it is possible to create a kernel by focusing on the implementation of the interpreter, xeus also offers the possibility to customize some predefined behaviors. This can be done via additional arguments of the xkernel consturctor:

xkernel(const xconfiguration& config,
        const std::string& user_name,
        interpreter_ptr interpreter,
        history_manager_ptr history_manager = make_in_memory_history_manager(),
        logger_ptr logger = nullptr,
        server_builder sbuilder = make_xserver,
        debugger_builder dbuilder = make_null_debugger);

History manager

The xhistory_manager class is used to store the execute_request messages sent by the frontend. Typical usage is when the console client connects to a kernel that has already executed some code: it asks the history_manager for its records and prints them so that the user knows what happened before.

xeus provides a default implementation of xhistory_manager that stores the messages in memory. It is possible to provide a different history manager by defining a class that inherits from xhistory_manager and implements the abstract methods:

class file_history_manager : public xeus::xhistory_manager
{
public:

    file_history_manager(const std::string& file_name);
    virtual ~file_history_manager();

private:


    void configure_impl() override;
    void store_inputs_impl(int line_num, const std::string& input) override;
    nl::json get_tail_impl(int n, bool raw, bool output) const override;
    nl::json get_range_impl(int session, int start, int stop, bool raw, bool output) const override;
    nl::json search_impl(const std::string& pattern, bool raw, bool output, int n, bool unique) const override;
};

Then simply pass an instance to the kernel constructor:

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    // ....
    // Instantiates interpreter and config
    // ....
    auto hist = std::make_unique<file_history_manager>("my_history_file.txt");
    xeus::xkernel kernel(config,
                         xeus::get_user_name(),
                         interpreter,
                         std::move(hist));
    kernel.start();
    return 0;
}

Logger

xeus does not log anything by default. However, it can be useful during the development phase of a new kernel to print the messages that are received by and sent from the kernel. Having a logger that can be enabled on-demand is also useful to track bugs once your new kernel has been released.

xeus provides a flexible logging mechanism that can be easily extended. Two default loggers are available: one that logs to the console, and another one that logs to files. You can add your own by defining a class that inherit from xlogger. Three logging levels are provided, one for message type, one for the content of the message and one for the full message. Loggers can be chained, meaning you can log the message types to the console and the full messages into files:

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    // ....
    // Instantiates interpreter and config
    // ....
    auto logger = xeus::make_console_logger(xeus::xlogger::msg_type,
                                            xeus::make_file_logger(xeus::xlogger::full, "my_log_file.log"));
    xeus::xkernel kernel(config,
                         xeus::get_user_name(),
                         interpreter,
                         xeus::make_in_memory_history_manager(),
                         std::move(logger));
    kernel.start();
    return 0;

}

To turn on logging, you need to define the variable environment XEUS_LOG before starting the kernel. This way, enabling and disabling the logs do not require to rebuild the kernel.

Defining a new type of logger is as simple as defining a new type of history manager: inherit from xlogger and implement the abstract methods:

class my_logger : public xeus::xlogger
{
public:

    my_logger();
    virtual ~mylogger();

private:

    void log_received_message_impl(const xmessage& message, channel c) const override;
    void log_sent_message_impl(const xmessage& message, channel c) const override;
    void log_iopub_message_impl(const xpub_message& message) const override;

    void log_message_impl(const std::string& socket_info,
                                  const nl::json& header,
                                  const nl::json& parent_header,
                                  const nl::json& metadata,
                                  const nl::json& content) const override;
};

Server

The server is the middleware component responsible for sending and receiving the messages. While you will hardly have to implement your own, you might need to specify a different server that the default one. xeus provides two types of server:

  • xserver_zmq is the default server implementation, it runs three thread, one for publishing, one for the heartbeat messages, and the main thread handles the shell, control and stdin sockets.

  • xserver_control_main runs an additional thread for handling the shell and the stdin sockets. Therefore the main thread only listens to the control socket. This allow to easily implement interruption of code execution. This server is required if you want to plug a debugger in the kernel.

  • xserver_shell_main is similar to xserver_control_main except that the main thread handles the shell and the stdin sockets while the additional thread listens to the control socket. This server is required if you want to plug a debugger that does not support native threads and requires the code to be run by the main thread.