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refs: introduce an iterator interface Currently, the API for iterating over references is via a family of for_each_ref()-type functions that invoke a callback function for each selected reference. All of these eventually call do_for_each_ref(), which knows how to do one thing: iterate in parallel through two ref_caches, one for loose and one for packed refs, giving loose references precedence over packed refs. This is rather complicated code, and is quite specialized to the files backend. It also requires callers to encapsulate their work into a callback function, which often means that they have to define and use a "cb_data" struct to manage their context. The current design is already bursting at the seams, and will become even more awkward in the upcoming world of multiple reference storage backends: * Per-worktree vs. shared references are currently handled via a kludge in git_path() rather than iterating over each part of the reference namespace separately and merging the results. This kludge will cease to work when we have multiple reference storage backends. * The current scheme is inflexible. What if we sometimes want to bypass the ref_cache, or use it only for packed or only for loose refs? What if we want to store symbolic refs in one type of storage backend and non-symbolic ones in another? In the future, each reference backend will need to define its own way of iterating over references. The crux of the problem with the current design is that it is impossible to compose for_each_ref()-style iterations, because the flow of control is owned by the for_each_ref() function. There is nothing that a caller can do but iterate through all references in a single burst, so there is no way for it to interleave references from multiple backends and present the result to the rest of the world as a single compound backend. This commit introduces a new iteration primitive for references: a ref_iterator. A ref_iterator is a polymorphic object that a reference storage backend can be asked to instantiate. There are three functions that can be applied to a ref_iterator: * ref_iterator_advance(): move to the next reference in the iteration * ref_iterator_abort(): end the iteration before it is exhausted * ref_iterator_peel(): peel the reference currently being looked at Iterating using a ref_iterator leaves the flow of control in the hands of the caller, which means that ref_iterators from multiple sources (e.g., loose and packed refs) can be composed and presented to the world as a single compound ref_iterator. It also means that the backend code for implementing reference iteration will sometimes be more complicated. For example, the cache_ref_iterator (which iterates over a ref_cache) can't use the C stack to recurse; instead, it must manage its own stack internally as explicit data structures. There is also a lot of boilerplate connected with object-oriented programming in C. Eventually, end-user callers will be able to be written in a more natural way—managing their own flow of control rather than having to work via callbacks. Since there will only be a few reference backends but there are many consumers of this API, this is a good tradeoff. More importantly, we gain composability, and especially the possibility of writing interchangeable parts that can work with any ref_iterator. For example, merge_ref_iterator implements a generic way of merging the contents of any two ref_iterators. It is used to merge loose + packed refs as part of the implementation of the files_ref_iterator. But it will also be possible to use it to merge other pairs of reference sources (e.g., per-worktree vs. shared refs). Another example is prefix_ref_iterator, which can be used to trim a prefix off the front of reference names before presenting them to the caller (e.g., "refs/heads/master" -> "master"). In this patch, we introduce the iterator abstraction and many utilities, and implement a reference iterator for the files ref storage backend. (I've written several other obvious utilities, for example a generic way to filter references being iterated over. These will probably be useful in the future. But they are not needed for this patch series, so I am not including them at this time.) In a moment we will rewrite do_for_each_ref() to work via reference iterators (allowing some special-purpose code to be discarded), and do something similar for reflogs. In future patch series, we will expose the ref_iterator abstraction in the public refs API so that callers can use it directly. Implementation note: I tried abstracting this a layer further to allow generic iterators (over arbitrary types of objects) and generic utilities like a generic merge_iterator. But the implementation in C was very cumbersome, involving (in my opinion) too much boilerplate and too much unsafe casting, some of which would have had to be done on the caller side. However, I did put a few iterator-related constants in a top-level header file, iterator.h, as they will be useful in a moment to implement iteration over directory trees and possibly other types of iterators in the future. Signed-off-by: Ramsay Jones <> Signed-off-by: Michael Haggerty <> Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
2016-06-18 06:15:15 +02:00
#ifndef ITERATOR_H
#define ITERATOR_H
* Generic constants related to iterators.
* The attempt to advance the iterator was successful; the iterator
* reflects the new current entry.
#define ITER_OK 0
* The iterator is exhausted and has been freed.
#define ITER_DONE -1
* The iterator experienced an error. The iteration has been aborted
* and the iterator has been freed.
#define ITER_ERROR -2
* Return values for selector functions for merge iterators. The
* numerical values of these constants are important and must be
* compatible with ITER_DONE and ITER_ERROR.
enum iterator_selection {
/* End the iteration without an error: */
/* Report an error and abort the iteration: */
* The next group of constants are masks that are useful
* mainly internally.
/* The LSB selects whether iter0/iter1 is the "current" iterator: */
/* iter0 is the "current" iterator this round: */
/* iter1 is the "current" iterator this round: */
/* Yield the value from the current iterator? */
/* Discard the value from the secondary iterator? */
* The constants that a selector function should usually
* return.
/* Yield the value from iter0: */
/* Yield the value from iter0 and discard the one from iter1: */
/* Discard the value from iter0 without yielding anything this round: */
/* Yield the value from iter1: */
/* Yield the value from iter1 and discard the one from iter0: */
/* Discard the value from iter1 without yielding anything this round: */
#endif /* ITERATOR_H */