61.4. Exemplified Usage of the Actions package

Suppose there is an experiment that wanted to ensure that runs were limited to only 1000 physics events each. (This is purely hypothetical). A run size of 1000 events could easily be enforced with a filter that utilizes the actions library. Here is the filter's handlePhysicsEvent method to accomplish this task.

      #include <Actions.h>
      #include <ilter.h>
      #include <iostream>
      #include <sstream>

      class OneThousandDelimiter : public CFilter {
          bool m_stopEmitted;     // flag for outputting new events
          int m_count;            // number of events


        /**! The handler of PHYSICS_EVENT ring items */
        virtual CRingItem* handlePhysicsEventItem(CPhysicsEventItem* pItem) 
          // if we have exceeded the threshold just stop outputting
          if (m_stopEmitted) return 0; 

          // increment the event count

          // display a log message every 100 events in the ReadoutGUI OutputWindow
          if ((m_count%(100))==0) {
            std::stringstream msg;
            msg << "Processed " << m_count << " of " << 1000;
            Actions::Log ( msg.str() ); 

          // If we reached the 1000 event threshold, then emit a warning message 
          // and end the run
          if (m_count>=1000) { 
            Actions::Warning("Exceeded threshold of events! Stopping the run");

          return pItem;

        /**! The required clone method */
        virtual OneThousandDelimiter* clone () const {
          return new OneThousandDelimiter(*this);

        /**! Reset count prior to first events received after startup */
        void initialize() {

What this does is to count the number of PHYSICS_EVENT ring items processed by the filter, all the while printing log messages to the ReadoutGUI's OutputWindow to indicate progress. Once 1000 events have been processed, a message formatted as a warning class will be printed on the OutputWindow and the run will be ended. Considering that there is time that passes between when the filter program emits the end run command and when the ReadoutGUI's run control actually transitions the state machine to Halted, there is a flag that is set called m_stopEmitted. When this is set, the filter throws away all PHYSICS_EVENT items that come its way.

Assume that the user's source code above was built into an executable named OneThousandLimiter. In the ReadoutCallouts directory this would be launched as follows:

      # load the packages we need
      package require Actions         ;# the actions tcl package
      package require DefaultActions  ;# the default response for the action package

      # instantiate the parser for the actions 
      set parser [::Actions %AUTO%]

      # launch the program as a pipeline with read permissions
      set cmd [file join /path to OneThousandLimiter]
      set pipe [open "| $cmd  --source=tcp://localhost/user --sink=file:///dev/null |& cat" r]
      chan configure $pipe -blocking 0
      chan configure $pipe -buffering line

      # register the actions parser to the pipeline
      chan event $pipe readable [list $parser onReadable $pipe]

As you can see, the TCL portion of this has been reduced to instantiating the Actions parser and then launching the OneThousandLimiter program as a pipeline process. The key here is that the prewritten onReadable method of the parser is used as the callback function for a readable event. Note that this is actually less work for the user than writing the callback from scratch.