PublicShow -- HTTP Streams

This module realises encoding and decoding filters, implemented as Prolog streams that read/write to an underlying stream. This allows for sequences of streams acting as an in-process pipeline.

The predicate http_chunked_open/3 realises encoding and decoding of the HTTP Chunked encoding. This encoding is an obligatory part of the HTTP 1.1 specification. Messages are split into chunks, each preceeded by the length of the chunk. Chunked encoding allows sending messages over a serial link (typically a TCP/IP stream) for which the reader knows when the message is ended. Unlike standard HTTP though, the sender does not need to know the message length in advance. The protocol allows for sending short chunks. This is supported totally transparent using a flush on the output stream.

The predicate stream_range_open/3 handles the Content-length on an input stream for handlers that are designed to process an entire file. The filtering stream claims end-of-file after reading a specified number of bytes, dispite the fact that the underlying stream may be longer.

- Jan Wielemaker
See also
- The HTTP 1.1 protocol
Source http_chunked_open(+RawStream, -DataStream, +Options) is det
Create a stream to realise HTTP chunked encoding or decoding. The technique is similar to library(zlib), using a Prolog stream as a filter on another stream. Options:
If true (default false), the parent stream is closed if DataStream is closed.
Define the maximum size of a chunk. Default is the default buffer size of fully buffered streams (4096). Larger values may improve throughput. It is also allowed to use set_stream(DataStream, buffer(line)) on the data stream to get line-buffered output. See set_stream/2 for details. Switching buffering to false is supported.

Here is example code to write a chunked data to a stream

        http_chunked_open(Out, S, []),
        format(S, 'Hello world~n', []),

If a stream is known to contain chunked data, we can extract this data using

        http_chunked_open(In, S, []),
        read_stream_to_codes(S, Codes),

The current implementation does not generate chunked extensions or an HTTP trailer. If such extensions appear on the input they are silently ignored. This is compatible with the HTTP 1.1 specifications. Although a filtering stream is an excellent mechanism for encoding and decoding the core chunked protocol, it does not well support out-of-band data.

After http_chunked_open/3, the encoding of DataStream is the same as the encoding of RawStream, while the encoding of RawStream is octet, the only value allowed for HTTP chunked streams. Closing the DataStream restores the old encoding on RawStream.

- io_error(read, Stream) where the message context provides an indication of the problem. This error is raised if the input is not valid HTTP chunked data.
Source stream_range_open(+RawStream, -DataStream, +Options) is det
DataStream is a stream whose size is defined by the option size(ContentLength). Closing DataStream does not close RawStream. Options processed:
Number of bytes represented by the main stream.
Calls call(Closure, RawStream, BytesLeft) when DataStream is closed. BytesLeft is the number of bytes of the range stream that have not been read, i.e., 0 (zero) if all data has been read from the stream when the range is closed. This was introduced for supporting Keep-alive in http_open/3 to reschedule the original stream for a new request if the data of the previous request was processed.
Source multipart_open(+Stream, -DataSttream, +Options) is det
DataStream is a stream that signals end_of_file if the multipart boundary is encountered. The stream can be reset to read the next part using multipart_open_next/1. Options:
Close Stream if DataStream is closed.
Define the boundary string. Text is an atom, string, code or character list.

All parts of a multipart input can be read using the following skeleton:

process_multipart(Stream) :-
      multipart_open(Stream, DataStream, [boundary(...)]),

process_parts(DataStream) :-
      (   multipart_open_next(DataStream)
      ->  process_parts(DataStream)
      ;   close(DataStream)
- The multipart parser contains code licensed under the MIT license, based on node-formidable by Felix Geisendoerfer and Igor Afonov.
Source multipart_open_next(+DataStream) is semidet
Prepare DataStream to read the next part from the multipart input data. Succeeds if a next part exists and fails if the last part was processed. Note that it is mandatory to read each part up to the end_of_file.
Source cgi_open(+OutStream, -CGIStream, :Hook, +Options) is det
Process CGI output. OutStream is normally the socket returning data to the HTTP client. CGIStream is the stream the (Prolog) code writes to. The CGIStream provides the following functions:
  • At the end of the header, it calls Hook using call(Hook, header, Stream), where Stream is a stream holding the buffered header.
  • If the stream is closed, it calls Hook using call(Hook, data, Stream), where Stream holds the buffered data.

The stream calls Hook, adding the event and CGIStream to the closure. Defined events are:

Called if the header is complete. Typically it uses cgi_property/2 to extract the collected header and combines these with the request and policies to decide on encoding, transfer-encoding, connection parameters and the complete header (as a Prolog term). Typically it uses cgi_set/2 to associate these with the stream.
Called if the HTTP header must be sent. This is immediately after setting the transfer encoding to chunked or when the CGI stream is closed. Typically it requests the current header, optionally the content-length and sends the header to the original (client) stream.
Called from close/1 on the CGI stream after everything is complete.

The predicates cgi_property/2 and cgi_set/2 can be used to control the stream and store status info. Terms are stored as Prolog records and can thus be transferred between threads.

Source cgi_property(+CGIStream, ?Property) is det
Inquire the status of the CGI stream. Defined properties are:
The original request
Term is the header term as registered using cgi_set/2
Stream is the original output stream used to create this stream.
ThreadID is the identifier of the `owning thread'
One of chunked or none.
One of Keep-Alive or close
Total byte-size of the content. Available in the close handler if the transfer_encoding is none.
Codes represents the header collected. Available in the header handler.
One of header, data or discarded
Request sequence number. This number is guaranteed to be unique.
Source cgi_set(+CGIStream, ?Property) is det
Change one of the properies. Supported properties are:
Associate a request to the stream.
Register a reply header. This header is normally retrieved from the send_header hook to send the reply header to the client.
One of Keep-Alive or close.
One of chunked or none. Initially set to none. When switching to chunked from the header hook, it calls the send_header hook and if there is data queed this is send as first chunk. Each subsequent write to the CGI stream emits a chunk.
Source cgi_discard(+CGIStream) is det
Discard content produced sofar. It sets the state property to discarded, causing close to omit the writing the data. This must be used for an alternate output (e.g. an error page) if the page generator fails.
Source is_cgi_stream(+Stream) is semidet
True if Stream is a CGI stream created using cgi_open/4.
Source http:encoding_filter(+Encoding, +In0, -In) is semidet[multifile]
Install a filter to deal with chunked encoded messages. Used by library(http_open).

Undocumented predicates

The following predicates are exported, but not or incorrectly documented.

Source cgi_statistics(Arg1)