Release History¶

v0.4.2 (2019-11-13)¶

This release contains some important bug fixes and some minor new features.

Features¶

• Make the default timeout for the threading client configurable via the environment variable CAPROTO_DEFAULT_TIMEOUT. It was previously hard-coded to 2 (seconds).
• Add --file argument to caproto-put, which obtains the value to be put from reading a file.
• Link ZNAM and ONAM fields to the parent enum_strings.
• Automatically populate pvproperty DESC using doc keyword argument.

Bug Fixes¶

• Fix a critical race condition wherein data could be written into a buffer as it was being sent.
• Propagate timeout specific to pyepics-compatible client to the next layer down.
• Correctly handle reconnection if the server dies.
• Allow asyncio server to do cleanup in all cases. (Previously, KeyboardInterrupt was erroneously exempted from cleanup.)
• Let the server’s write method provide the timestamp. This is significant if the putter takes significant time to process or does any internal writes.

v0.4.1 (2019-10-06)¶

This release adds some small improvements and updates to address deprecations in Python and caproto’s optional dependencies.

Features¶

• Added support for -S argument in the caproto-put commandline tool.
• Added support for using Event synchronization primitives in servers, used in the new example caproto.ioc_examples.worker_thread_pc.

v0.4.0 (2019-06-06)¶

Features¶

• Rewrite approach to logging. See Logging for details.
• Add precision to motor_ph in mini_beamline example IOC.

Bug Fixes¶

• Fix bug in scan_rate that raised errors when it was written to
• Respond correctly when channel filter is set but empty.

v0.3.4 (2019-05-02)¶

Fixes¶

• Several fixes and documentation for the commandline utilities’ formatting parameters added in v0.3.3.
• Put an upper limit on how quickly a given search result may be reissued.
• Documentation fix in server help string.

v0.3.3 (2019-04-11)¶

This release improves the commandline utilities’ parity to their counterparts in the reference implementation by supporting formatting parameters for integers and floats. It also includes some important fixes.

Fixes¶

• When optional dependency netifaces is installed, clients search on all broadcast interfaces, not just 255.255.255.255. This reverts an erroneous change made in v0.2.3.
• caproto-shark does a better job ignoring non-CA packets (instead of erroring out).

v0.3.2 (2019-03-06)¶

This release inclues just one minor fix to caproto-shark, enabling it to more reliably skip over irrelevant network traffic (i.e. traffic that is not Channel Access messages).

v0.3.1 (2019-03-05)¶

This is a bug-fix release addressing issues related to empty (zero-length) channel data.

Fixes¶

• Fix servers’ support for empty (zero-length) data.
• Assume the maximum length of a channel initialized with empty data is one (i.e. assume it is scalar).
• Address an ambiguity in the Channel Access protocol: a subscription update (EventAddResponse) indicating empty data and a confirmation of a request to cancel the subscription (EventCancelResponse) serialize identically, and so the client must make a best effort to interpret based on context which of the two is intended.

v0.3.0 (2019-02-20)¶

This release introduces caproto-shark and other convenient improvements. It also contains many bug-fixes, some critical.

Features¶

• Add server “healthcheck” methods to the threading client, which expose information collected about how recently each server has communicated with the client. See Server Health Check.
• Add a new example IOC who PVs are dynamic (change during runtime). Include a “waveform” (array) PV in the simple example.
• Make the default timeout configurable per Context and per PV, in addition to per a given operation. This makes it possible to adjust all the timeouts in one place during debugging.
• Use a random starting ID for message identifiers as an extra layer of protections against collisions, especially in the context of CI testing where many clients and servers are started up in rapid succession.

Bug Fixes¶

• Only attempt to use SO_REUSEPORT socket option if support for it has been compiled into Python.
• A critical bug only affecting Windows had broken asyncio servers on Windows in a previous release.
• The threading client was wrongly issuing warnings if it received multiple responses to a search for a PV from the same server.
• Add missing user_offset pvproperty to MotorFields.
• Fix several race conditions in the threading client.
• Improve cleanup of resources: ensure sockets are explicitly closed and threads explicitly joined. (More work is needed, but progress was made.)
• Fix “leak” of ioids (IO message identifiers).
• Handle setting empty lists as values through the pyepics-compat client.
• In the trio-backed server, remove usage of deprecated trio.Queue.
• Many other small fixes and safeguards.

v0.2.3 (2019-01-02)¶

Usability Improvements¶

• A new function set_handler() provides a convenient way to make common customizations to caproto’s default logging handler, such as writing to a file instead of the stdout.
• In the threading client, store the current access rights level on the PV object as pv.access_rights. It was previously only accessible when it changed, via a callback, and had to be stashed/tracked by user code.
• Display the version of caproto in the output of --help/-h in the commandline utilities. Add a new commandline argument --version/-V that outputs the version and exits.
• In the threading client, DEBUG-log all read/write requests and read/write/event responses. (When these log messages were first introduced in v0.2.1, batched requests and their responses were not logged, and write responses were not logged when notify=True but wait=False.)

Bug Fixes¶

• Fix critical bug in synchronous client that broke monitoring of multiple PVs.
• Fix default (“AUTO”) broadcast address list (should always be 255.255.255.255). Removed internal utility function broadcast_address_list_from_interfaces().
• In pyepics-compatible client, set default mask to SubscriptionType.DBE_VALUE | SubscriptionType.DBE_ALARM, consistent with pyepics.
• Prevent subscriptions for being processed for all channels that share an alarm if the alarm state has not actually changed.

Updated Pyepics Compatibility¶

• Added new method PV.get_with_metadata, which was added in pyepics 3.3.1.

Deprecations¶

• The color_logs() convenience function has been deprecated in favor of set_handler().

Internal Changes¶

• Enable -vvv (“very verbose”) option when running example IOCs in test suite.

v0.2.2 (2018-11-15)¶

The release improves the performance of the threading client and adds support for value-based alarms. Additionally, it provides more control over search and implements back-off in a way more consistent with (but not yet fully consistent with) EPICS’ reference implementation.

Improved Alarm Support¶

• Value-based alarms are supported by all servers.
• LOLO, LO, HI, and HIHI alarm status fields of mocked records are respected.
• Channel limit metadata (upper_alarm_limit, upper_warning_limit, etc.) is now integrated with alarms.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements¶

• The socket settings SO_KEEPALIVE and TCP_NODELAY are used in the threading client TCP sockets, making it consistent with epics-base and removing a 40ms overhead that can occur when sending small packets.
• Some unnecessary locking was removed from the threading client, resolving a deadlock observed in ophyd and improving performance.
• The spoof_beamline IOC is aware of more components of Area Detector and defaults to float-type channels instead of integer-type.
• A rare but possible race condition that caused a subscription to be activated twice (thus getting two responses for each update) has been resolved.
• The ChannelData objects are serializable with pickle.
• A bug in length-checking that affected zero-length data has been fixed.

The detail and consistency of the exceptions raised by the clients has also been improved.

v0.2.1 (2018-10-29)¶

This release tunes server performance under high load and fixes several subtle bugs in the server identified via acctst, the server acceptance test that ships with epics-base.

Bug Fixes¶

• When a new Subscription is added, send the most recent value immediately but only to the new Subscription. Previous releases sent redundant messages to all Subscriptions that had similar parameters.
• Reduce the maximum size of a datagram of search requests to match the typical Maximum Transmission Unit seen in the wild.
• Fix a bug in the pyepics-compatibility layer that caused the connection callbacks never to be called when underlying caproto.threading.client.PV’s were reused.
• Fix a typo in the PV names in the spoof_beamline IOC.
• Never send an EventAddResponse after a matching EventCancelResponse has been sent.
• Always send a response to a failed write, and include the correct error code.
• If a circuit has an oversized backlog of received commands to process, log a WARNING before disconnecting.

Server Performance Tuning¶

• Increase the max backlog of subscription updates queued up to send (both updates per specific Subscription and total updates per circuit) by a factor of 10. Likewise for the max backlog of received commands queued up to process.
• When under sustained high load of subscription updates to send, iteratively double the latency between packets up to at most 1 second to achieve higher overall throughput (more commands per packet, less overhead).
• When a Read[Notify]Request arrives on the heels of a Write[Notify]Request, wait for up to 0.001 seconds for the write to process before reading the current value. If the write happens to complete in less than 0.001 seconds, the read will reflect the new value. This behavior is in the spirit of, but distinct from, EPICS’ “synchronous writes.” EPICS allows a device to block while writing if it promises to finish quickly (< 0.1 milliseconds). We take a different approach, making all writes asynchronous. This ensures that an accidentally-slow write cannot lock up the server. It adds latency to some reads, up to a hard maximum of 1 millisecond, giving the effect of synchronous write whenever the write finishes fast.

The release also includes one small new feature: in the threading client, DEBUG-level logging of channels/PVs caproto.ch now logs (non-batch) read/write requests and read/write/event responses. [Update: In v0.2.3, this feature was extended to include batched requests and their responses.] Related — there is expanded documentation on Logging.

v0.2.0 (2018-10-17)¶

This release improves compliance with the protocol and server performance under high load.

Features¶

• Under high load (with many subscription updates queued up to send) servers batch subscriptions into blocks, trading a little latency for efficiency. Under low load, servers prioritize low latency.
• The servers’ medium-verbose setting (-v) displays current load and latency.
• In the threading client, process user callbacks using one threadpool per circuit instead of one threadpool for the entire context. Make the size of the threadpool configurable via a new Context parameter, max_workers.
• We now test the servers against a Python 3-compatible fork of Michael Davidsaver’s utility for testing Channel Access servers, catvs. This has generated several fixes improving protocol compliance, list a section below. There are a small number of known failures wherein the best/correct behavior is arguable; see caproto#327 on GitHub for discussion. There may be more progress on these in future releases of caproto.
• Added pvproperty.scan. See the mini_beamline example IOC for a usage example.
• Add a server-side data source for ChannelType.INT (a.k.a SHORT) data.
• The default printed output of the caproto-monitor CLI utility now includes microseconds.
• There are several new IOC examples.

Breaking Changes¶

• The expected signature of the access_rights_callback passed to Context has been changed from f(access_rights) to f(pv, access_rights). This makes it consistent with the connection_callback.
• If a beacon fails to send, do not kill the server; just log the failure, along with a suggestion on how to fix the environment to omit the failed address, and continue to run.
• In the high-level server, implemented with pvproperty, PV values can be defined as scalars. The accessor pvproperty.value now returns a scalar instead of a length-1 list (API break), while write() accepts either list or scalar.

Bug Fixes¶

• A critical bug CHAR-type payload serialization which made caproto clients unusable with CHAR-type channels has been fixed.
• The asyncio server now executes its cleanup code when interrupted with SIGINT (Ctrl+C).
• All three servers were relying on the operating system to clean up their sockets when the process exited. They now close their sockets explicitly when the server task exits. This fixes the runaway usage of file descriptors when the tests are run.

Improved Protocol Compliance¶

• The servers send CreateChFailResponse when the client requests a channel name that does not exist on the server. They previously did not respond.
• The servers reply to SearchRequest messages sent over TCP. (UDP is more common, but TCP is allowed.) They previously did not respond.
• The EventCancelResponse message includes a data_count.
• The servers respect the data_count requested by the client.
• Servers enforce quota per subscription to avoid one prolific subscription (or slow client) from drowning out others.
• Servers respect EventsOn and EventsOff requests.
• Servers differentiate between current length and maximum length of an array, and they properly declare the maximum length in CreateChanResponse. They formerly declared the current length, which was not correct.
• The caproto-put commandline utility now supports -a for arrays.

v0.1.2 (2018-08-31)¶

This is a bug-fix release fixing some critical bugs. We recommend that all users upgrade.

• Fix critical typo in threading client’s search functionality that could cause it to conflate addresses from different search responses and then attempt to connect to the wrong server.
• Fix handshake with servers and clients speaking Version 11 (or older) of the protocol.

v0.1.1 (2018-06-17)¶

This is a bug-fix release following closely on the initial release. We recommend that all users update.

• Fix straightforward but important bug in the synchronous client that broke monitoring of multiple channels concurrently.
• In servers, abide by the spec’s recommendation that beacons should be issued quickly at startup before backing off to a slower, steady rate.
• Fix a bug that broke the array (“arr”) channel filter if numpy was not installed.
• Add a new section to the documentation detailing caproto’s compliance with the Channel Access protocol and the feature parity of caproto’s clients and servers with respect to the reference implementations in epics-base.

v0.1.0 (2018-06-14)¶

This initial release contains some fairly stable components and some very experimental ones.

• The core protocol code, the synchronous client, the threading client, and the pyepics-compatible client are fairly stable.
• The high-level interface to IOCs has no known issues but could in a future release of caproto, as we gain experience from its use.
• The three server implementations are thoroughly tested, but their low level API is likely to change in a future release.
• The asynchronous client implementations (trio client and curio client) are highly experimental. They lack feature-parity with the other clients and have some known bugs. They may be heavily revised or removed in a future release of caproto.