Software Development

Paramore Brighter: The Russian Doll Model

I’ve mentioned a bit about the attributing the handler and the step and timing parameters, but I’ve not explained them properly in previous posts (“Retrying commands” mentions steps, and “Don’t Repeat Yourself” also mentions timings). So, I’ve created a small project to demonstrate what they mean and how it all operates.

The code for this post is available on GitHub.

If you just have the target handler, that is the handler that is directly tied to the Command that got Sent, without any decorations, then we won’t have to worry about the Russian Doll Model. There is only one handler, and it goes directly there. However, as soon as you start decorating your handler with other handlers it comes in to effect.

Timing

As the name suggests this affects when the decorated handler will run. Either before or after the target handler. However, handlers set to run “before” also get an opportunity to do things afterwards as well due to the Russian Doll model, as we’ll see.

The Before handler wraps the target handler, and the target handler wraps the After handler. At the very centre is the inner most After handler. Like this:

Russian Doll Model with Before and After handlers
Russian Doll Model with Before and After handlers

The red arrows in the diagram show the flow of the code. So, for a handler with a before and after decoration, the code will execute in the following order:

  • The “Before” timing Handle method
  • The Target Handle method
  • The “After” timing Handle method
  • The Target Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())
  • The “Before” timing Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())

Obviously, you do not have to call the base.Handler from your handler, but if you do that you break the Russian Doll Model, subsequent steps will not be called. Throwing an exception also will not call subsequent steps. According to Ian Cooper, the originator of the Paramore Brighter framework, “An exception is the preferred mechanism to exit a pipeline”.

Steps

If you have multiple decorators with the same timing, it may be important to let the framework know in which order to run them.

For Before handlers the steps ascend, so step 1, followed by step 2, followed by step 3, etc. For After handlers the steps descend, so step 3, followed by step 2, followed by step 1.

Russian Doll Model 7 Layers
7 Layer Russian Doll Model (3 Before, Target, and 3 After)

The red arrows in the diagram show the flow of the code. So, for a handler with three before and after decorations, the code will execute in the following order:

  • Step 1 for the “Before” timing Handle method
  • Step 2 for the “Before” timing Handle method
  • Step 3 for the “Before” timing Handle method
  • The Target Handle method
  • Step 3 for the “After” timing Handle method
  • Step 2 for the “After” timing Handle method
  • Step 1 for the “After” timing Handle method
  • Step 2 for the “After” timing Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())
  • Step 3 for the “After” timing Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())
  • The Target Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())
  • Step 3 for the “Before” timing Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())
  • Step 2 for the “Before” timing Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())
  • Step 1 for the “Before” timing Handle method continued (after any call to the base.Handle())

Base Handler classes

You can, of course, create a class between RequestHandler and your own target handler class and this adds its own complexity to the model.

Any handler attributes added to the base class will be added to the pipeline and those handlers will be run for the time, and step they specify. Also, remember that the base class has its own Handle method which can have code before and and after the call to the base class’s implementation.

This can be seen in the sample project on GitHub, which you can download and experiment with to see how the code is executed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s