path: root/Docs
diff options
authorJames Bursa <>2006-10-05 21:43:18 +0000
committerJames Bursa <>2006-10-05 21:43:18 +0000
commitf68e78b1c20bc61772f24e81c8bfed3085738149 (patch)
treedd33ecd9a18234c67119a40327f43abf516bca4d /Docs
parentbac1be667ab31c8cb39a9f46d90d70e0d5bba009 (diff)
Document content status changes, type functions, and memory allocation.
svn path=/trunk/netsurf/; revision=2979
Diffstat (limited to 'Docs')
1 files changed, 72 insertions, 7 deletions
diff --git a/Docs/01-content b/Docs/01-content
index 3cfc47d86..3f265fa3e 100644
--- a/Docs/01-content
+++ b/Docs/01-content
@@ -11,6 +11,7 @@ The data related to each URL used by NetSurf is stored in a 'struct content'
* a 'content type' which corresponds to the MIME type of the URL (for example
+* a status (for example LOADING, DONE, or ERROR)
* type independent data such as the URL and raw source bytes
* a union of structs for type dependent data (for example 'struct
@@ -19,19 +20,83 @@ Contents are stored in a global linked list 'content_list', also known as the
"memory cache".
The content_* functions provide a general interface for handling these
-structures. They use a table of handlers to call type-specific code. For
-example, content_redraw() may call html_redraw() or nsjpeg_redraw() depending on
-the type of content.
+structures. They use a table of handlers to call type-specific code
+('handler_map'). For example, content_redraw() may call html_redraw() or
+nsjpeg_redraw() depending on the type of content.
-Each content has a list of users. A user is a callback function which is called
-when something interesting happens to the content (for example, it's ready to be
-displayed). Examples of users are browser windows (of HTML contents) and HTML
-contents (of JPEG contents).
+Each content has a list of users. A user is a callback function which is sent a
+message (called) when something interesting happens to the content (for example,
+it's ready to be displayed). Examples of users are browser windows (of HTML
+contents) and HTML contents (of JPEG contents).
Some content types may not be shared among users: an HTML content is dependent
on the width of the window, so sharing by two or more windows wouldn't work.
Thus there may be more than one content with the same URL in memory.
+Content status
+The status of a content follows a fixed order. Certain content functions change
+the status, and each change of status results in a message to all users of the
+- content_create() creates a content in status TYPE_UNKNOWN
+- content_set_type() takes a content TYPE_UNKNOWN to one of
+ * LOADING (sends optional MSG_NEWPTR followed by MSG_LOADING)
+ * ERROR (sends MSG_ERROR)
+- content_process_data() takes LOADING to one of
+ * LOADING (no message)
+- content_convert() takes LOADING to one of
+- a content can move from READY to DONE by itself, for example HTML contents
+ become DONE when all images are fetched and the document is reformatted
+- content_stop() aborts loading of a READY content and results in status DONE
+Type functions
+The type-specific functions for a content are as follows (where 'type' is
+replaced by something):
+type_create():: called to initialise type-specific fields in the content
+ structure. Optional.
+type_process_data():: called when some data arrives. Optional.
+type_convert():: called when data has finished arriving. The content needs to be
+ converted for display. Must set the status to one of
+ Optional, but probably required for non-trivial types.
+type_reformat():: called when, for example, the window has been resized, and the
+ content needs reformatting for the new size. Optional.
+type_destroy():: called when the content is being destroyed. Free all resources.
+ Optional.
+type_redraw():: called to plot the content to screen.
+type_redraw_tiled():: called to plot the content tiled across the screen.
+ Optional.
+type_stop(): called when the user interrupts in status CONTENT_STATUS_READY.
+ Must stop any processing and set the status to CONTENT_STATUS_DONE.
+ Required iff the status can be CONTENT_STATUS_READY.
+type_open(): called when a window containing the content is opened. Probably
+ only makes sense if no_share is set for the content type in
+ handler_map. Optional.
+type_close():: called when the window containing the content is closed.
+ Optional.
+If an error occurs in type_create(), type_process_data(), type_convert(),
+CONTENT_MSG_ERROR must be broadcast and false returned. Optionally use
+warn_user() for serious errors. The _destroy function will be called soon after.
+Memory allocation
+Each content structure is allocated using talloc, and all data related to a
+content should be allocated as a child block of the content structure using
+talloc. This will ensure that all memory used by a content is freed.
+Contents must keep an estimate of non-talloc allocations in the total_size
+attribute. This is used to control the size of the memory cache.
Creating and fetching contents
A high-level interface to starting the process of fetching and converting an URL