Top asynchronous Questions

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520
Sergio del Amo

I would like to upload a file asynchronously with JQuery. This is my HTML:

<span>File</span>
<input type="file" id="file" name="file" size="10"/>
<input id="uploadbutton" type="button" value="Upload"/>

And here my javascript:

$(document).ready(function () {
  $("#uploadbutton").click(function () {
    var filename = $("#file").val();

    $.ajax({
      type: "POST",
      url: "addFile.do",
      enctype: 'multipart/form-data',
      data: {
        file: filename
      },
      success: function () {
        alert("Data Uploaded: ");
      }
    });
  });
});

Instead of the file being uploaded, I am only getting the filename. Help?

Current Solution

I am using to upload files the jQuery Form Plugin

Answered By: olanod ( 316)

With HTML5 you CAN make file uploads with Ajax and Jquery. Not only that, you can do file validations(name,size,MIME-type) or handle the progress event with the html5 progress tag(or a div). Recently I had to make a file uploader but I didn't want to use flash nor Iframes or plugins and after some research I came up with the solution.

The HTML:

<form enctype="multipart/form-data">
<input name="file" type="file" />
<input type="button" value="Upload" />
</form>
<progress></progress>

First you can do some validation if you want. For example in the onChange event of the file.

$(':file').change(function(){
    var file = this.files[0];
    name = file.name;
    size = file.size;
    type = file.type;
    //your validation
});

Now the Ajax submit with the button's click.

$(':button').click(function(){
    var formData = new FormData($('form')[0]);
    $.ajax({
        url: 'upload.php',  //server script to process data
        type: 'POST',
        xhr: function() {  // custom xhr
            myXhr = $.ajaxSettings.xhr();
            if(myXhr.upload){ // check if upload property exists
                myXhr.upload.addEventListener('progress',progressHandlingFunction, false); // for handling the progress of the upload
            }
            return myXhr;
        },
        //Ajax events
        beforeSend: beforeSendHandler,
        success: completeHandler,
        error: errorHandler,
        // Form data
        data: formData,
        //Options to tell JQuery not to process data or worry about content-type
        cache: false,
        contentType: false,
        processData: false
    });
});

Now if you want to handle the progress.

function progressHandlingFunction(e){
    if(e.lengthComputable){
        $('progress').attr({value:e.loaded,max:e.total});
    }
}

As you can see, with HTML5(and some research) file uploading not only becomes possible but super easy. Try it with Chrome as some of the html5 components of the example aren't avaible in every browser.

215
Artem Tikhomirov

I have a javascript widget which provides standard extension points. One of them is the beforecreate function. It should return false to prevent an item from being created.

I've added an AJAX call into this function using jQuery:

beforecreate: function (node, targetNode, type, to) {
  jQuery.get('http://example.com/catalog/create/' + targetNode.id + '?name=' + encode(to.inp[0].value),

  function (result) {
    if (result.isOk == false) alert(result.message);
  });
}

But I want to prevent my widget from creating the item, so I should return false in the mother-function, not in the callback. Is there any way to perform a synchronized AJAX request using jQuery or any other API? Thanks.

Answered By: Adam Bellaire ( 260)

From the Jquery docs: you specify the async option to be false to get a synchronous Ajax request. Then your callback can set some data before your mother function proceeds.

Here's what your code would look like if changed as suggested:

beforecreate: function(node,targetNode,type,to) {
    jQuery.ajax({
         url:    'http://example.com/catalog/create/' 
                  + targetNode.id 
                  + '?name=' 
                  + encode(to.inp[0].value),
         success: function(result) {
                      if(result.isOk == false)
                          alert(result.message);
                  },
         async:   false
    });          
}
147
Vidar Vestnes

I got a AsyncTask that is supposed to check the network access to a host name. But the doInBackground is never timed out. Anyone have a clue?

public class HostAvailabilityTask extends AsyncTask<String, Void, Boolean>{

private Main main;

public HostAvailabilityTask(Main main){
    this.main = main;
}

protected Boolean doInBackground(String... params) {
    Main.Log("doInBackground() isHostAvailable():"+params[0]);

    try {
        return InetAddress.getByName(params[0]).isReachable(30); 
    } catch (UnknownHostException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    } catch (IOException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    }
    return false;       
}

protected void onPostExecute(Boolean... result) {
    Main.Log("onPostExecute()");

    if(result[0] == false){
        main.setContentView(R.layout.splash);
        return;
    }

    main.continueAfterHostCheck();
}

}
Answered By: gar ( 355)

@Eddie. Just a minor edit to your solution - if the device is in airplane mode (or presumably in other situations where there's no available network), cm.getActiveNetworkInfo() will be null, so you need to add a null check.

Modified solution below:

public boolean isOnline() {
    ConnectivityManager cm =
        (ConnectivityManager) getSystemService(Context.CONNECTIVITY_SERVICE);
    NetworkInfo netInfo = cm.getActiveNetworkInfo();
    if (netInfo != null && netInfo.isConnectedOrConnecting()) {
        return true;
    }
    return false;
}

Also add the following permission to the Android Manifest

    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />

One other small point, if you absolutely need a network connection at the given point in time, then it might be better to use netInfo.isConnected() rather than netInfo.isConnectedOrConnecting. I guess this is up to the indivudal use-case however.

145
StaxMan

I have heard lots of raving about Akka framework (Java/Scala service platform), but so far have not seen many actual examples of use cases it would be good for. So I would be interested in hearing about things developers have used it succesfully.

Only one limitation: please do not include case of writing a chat server. :-) (why? since this has been overused as an example for lots of similar things)

EDIT: Since there are many good answers, my choice of accepted answer is bit arbitrary; I thought highest voted one seems like a reasonable choice. Thank you everyone for good answers!

Answered By: Raymond Roestenburg ( 82)

I have used it so far in two real projects very successfully. both are in the near real-time traffic information field (traffic as in cars on highways), distributed over several nodes, integrating messages between several parties, reliable backend systems. I'm not at liberty to give specifics on clients yet, when I do get the OK maybe it can be added as a reference.

Akka has really pulled through on those projects, even though we started when it was on version 0.7. (we are using scala by the way)

One of the big advantages is the ease at which you can compose a system out of actors and messages with almost no boilerplating, it scales extremely well without all the complexities of hand-rolled threading and you get asynchronous message passing between objects almost for free.

It is very good in modeling any type of asynchronous message handling. I would prefer to write any type of (web) services system in this style than any other style. (Have you ever tried to write an asynchronous web service (server side) with JAX-WS? that's a lot of plumbing). So I would say any system that does not want to hang on one of its components because everything is implicitly called using synchronous methods, and that one component is locking on something. It is very stable and the let-it-crash + supervisor solution to failure really works well. Everything is easy to setup programmatically and not hard to unit test.

Then there are the excellent add-on modules. The Camel module really plugs in well into Akka and enables such easy development of asynchronous services with configurable endpoints.

I'm very happy with the framework and it is becoming a defacto standard for the connected systems that we build.

143
Jon Skeet

Yesterday I was giving a talk about the new C# "async" feature, in particular delving into what the generated code looked like, and the GetAwaiter() / BeginAwait() / EndAwait() calls.

We looked in some detail at the state machine generated by the C# compiler, and there were two aspects we couldn't understand:

  • Why the generated class contains a Dispose() method and a $__disposing variable, which never appear to be used (and the class doesn't implement IDisposable).
  • Why the internal state variable is set to 0 before any call to EndAwait(), when 0 normally appears to mean "this is the initial entry point".

I suspect the first point could be answered by doing something more interesting within the async method, although if anyone has any further information I'd be glad to hear it. This question is more about the second point, however.

Here's a very simple piece of sample code:

using System.Threading.Tasks;

class Test
{
    static async Task<int> Sum(Task<int> t1, Task<int> t2)
    {
        return await t1 + await t2;
    }
}

... and here's the code which gets generated for the MoveNext() method which implements the state machine. This is copied directly from Reflector - I haven't fixed up the unspeakable variable names:

public void MoveNext()
{
    try
    {
        this.$__doFinallyBodies = true;
        switch (this.<>1__state)
        {
            case 1:
                break;

            case 2:
                goto Label_00DA;

            case -1:
                return;

            default:
                this.<a1>t__$await2 = this.t1.GetAwaiter<int>();
                this.<>1__state = 1;
                this.$__doFinallyBodies = false;
                if (this.<a1>t__$await2.BeginAwait(this.MoveNextDelegate))
                {
                    return;
                }
                this.$__doFinallyBodies = true;
                break;
        }
        this.<>1__state = 0;
        this.<1>t__$await1 = this.<a1>t__$await2.EndAwait();
        this.<a2>t__$await4 = this.t2.GetAwaiter<int>();
        this.<>1__state = 2;
        this.$__doFinallyBodies = false;
        if (this.<a2>t__$await4.BeginAwait(this.MoveNextDelegate))
        {
            return;
        }
        this.$__doFinallyBodies = true;
    Label_00DA:
        this.<>1__state = 0;
        this.<2>t__$await3 = this.<a2>t__$await4.EndAwait();
        this.<>1__state = -1;
        this.$builder.SetResult(this.<1>t__$await1 + this.<2>t__$await3);
    }
    catch (Exception exception)
    {
        this.<>1__state = -1;
        this.$builder.SetException(exception);
    }
}

It's long, but the important lines for this question are these:

// End of awaiting t1
this.<>1__state = 0;
this.<1>t__$await1 = this.<a1>t__$await2.EndAwait();

// End of awaiting t2
this.<>1__state = 0;
this.<2>t__$await3 = this.<a2>t__$await4.EndAwait();

In both cases the state is changed again afterwards before it's next obviously observed... so why set it to 0 at all? If MoveNext() were called again at this point (either directly or via Dispose) it would effectively start the async method again, which would be wholly inappropriate as far as I can tell... if and MoveNext() isn't called, the change in state is irrelevant.

Is this simply a side-effect of the compiler reusing iterator block generation code for async, where it may have a more obvious explanation?

Important disclaimer

Obviously this is just a CTP compiler. I fully expect things to change before the final release - and possibly even before the next CTP release. This question is in no way trying to claim this is a flaw in the C# compiler or anything like that. I'm just trying to work out whether there's a subtle reason for this that I've missed :)

Answered By: Jon Skeet ( 44)

Okay, I finally have a real answer. I sort of worked it out on my own, but only after Lucian Wischik from the VB part of the team confirmed that there really is a good reason for it. Many thanks to him - and please visit his blog, which rocks.

The value 0 here is only special because it's not a valid state which you might be in just before the await in a normal case. In particular, it's not a state which the state machine may end up testing for elsewhere. I believe that using any non-positive value would work just as well: -1 isn't used for this as it's logically incorrect, as -1 normally means "finished". I could argue that we're giving an extra meaning to state 0 at the moment, but ultimately it doesn't really matter. The point of this question was finding out why the state is being set at all.

The value is relevant if the await ends in an exception which is caught. We can end up coming back to the same await statement again, but we mustn't be in the state meaning "I'm just about to come back from that await" as otherwise all kinds of code would be skipped. It's simplest to show this with an example. Note that I'm now using the second CTP, so the generated code is slightly different to that in the question.

Here's the async method:

static async Task<int> FooAsync()
{
    var t = new SimpleAwaitable();

    for (int i = 0; i < 3; i++)
    {
        try
        {
            Console.WriteLine("In Try");
            return await t;
        }                
        catch (Exception)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Trying again...");
        }
    }
    return 0;
}

Conceptually, the SimpleAwaitable can be any awaitable - maybe a task, maybe something else. For the purposes of my tests, it always returns false for IsCompleted, and throws an exception in GetResult.

Here's the generated code for MoveNext:

public void MoveNext()
{
    int returnValue;
    try
    {
        int num3 = state;
        if (num3 == 1)
        {
            goto Label_ContinuationPoint;
        }
        if (state == -1)
        {
            return;
        }
        t = new SimpleAwaitable();
        i = 0;
      Label_ContinuationPoint:
        while (i < 3)
        {
            // Label_ContinuationPoint: should be here
            try
            {
                num3 = state;
                if (num3 != 1)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("In Try");
                    awaiter = t.GetAwaiter();
                    if (!awaiter.IsCompleted)
                    {
                        state = 1;
                        awaiter.OnCompleted(MoveNextDelegate);
                        return;
                    }
                }
                else
                {
                    state = 0;
                }
                int result = awaiter.GetResult();
                awaiter = null;
                returnValue = result;
                goto Label_ReturnStatement;
            }
            catch (Exception)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("Trying again...");
            }
            i++;
        }
        returnValue = 0;
    }
    catch (Exception exception)
    {
        state = -1;
        Builder.SetException(exception);
        return;
    }
  Label_ReturnStatement:
    state = -1;
    Builder.SetResult(returnValue);
}

I had to move Label_ContinuationPoint to make it valid code - otherwise it's not in the scope of the goto statement - but that doesn't affect the answer.

Think about what happens when GetResult throws its exception. We'll go through the catch block, increment i, and then loop round again (assuming i is still less than 3). We're still in whatever state we were before the GetResult call... but when we get inside the try block we must print "In Try" and call GetAwaiter again... and we'll only do that if state isn't 1. Without the state = 0 assignment, it will use the existing awaiter and skip the Console.WriteLine call.

It's a fairly tortuous bit of code to work through, but that just goes to show the kinds of thing that the team has to think about. I'm glad I'm not responsible for implementing this :)