view doc/Cache.txt @ 1173:717058f63429

Removed the experimental font size adjuster patch (it slipped in by mistake)
author Jorge Arellano Cid <>
date Mon, 15 Jun 2009 17:50:10 -0400
parents 6ee11bf9e3ea
children 20ffd8b339cc
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 June 2000, --Jcid
 Last update: Oct 2004


   The  cache  module  is  the  main  abstraction  layer  between
rendering and networking.

   The  capi module acts as a discriminating wrapper which either
calls  the  cache  or  the  dpi routines depending on the type of

   Every  URL  must be requested using a_Capi_open_url, no matter
if  it is a http, file, dpi or whatever type of request. The capi
asks  the  dpi  module  for dpi URLs and the Cache for everything

   Here we'll document non dpi requests.

   The  cache,  at its turn, sends the requested-data from memory
(if  cached),  or opens a new network connection (if not cached).

   This  means  that  no  mattering whether the answer comes from
memory  or  the  net,  the  client  requests  it through the capi
wrapper, in a single uniform way.

                         CACHE PHILOSOPHY

   Dillo's  cache  is  very  simple, every single resource that's
retrieved  (URL)  is  kept  in  memory. NOTHING is saved. This is
mainly for three reasons:

   - Dillo encourages personal privacy and it assures there'll be
no recorded tracks of the sites you visited.

   -  The Network is full of intermediate transparent proxys that
serve as caches.

   -  If  you still want to have cached stuff, you can install an
external cache server (as WWWOFFLE), and benefit from it.

                         CACHE STRUCTURE

   Currently, dillo's cache code is spread in different sources:
mainly  in  cache.[ch],  dicache.[ch]  and  it  uses  some  other
functions from mime.c, Url.c and web.c.

   Cache.c  is  the  principal  source,  and  it also is the main
responsible  for  processing  cache-clients  (held  in  a queue).
Dicache.c  is  the  "decompressed  image  cache" and it holds the
original    data   and   its   corresponding   decompressed   RGB
representation (more on this subject in Images.txt).

   Url.c,  mime.c  and  web.c  are  used  for secondary tasks; as
assigning the right "viewer" or "decoder" for a given URL.

A bit of history

   Some  time  ago,  the  cache  functions,  URL  retrieving  and
external  protocols  were  a whole mess of mixed code, and it was
getting  REALLY hard to fix, improve or extend the functionality.
The  main  idea  of  this  "layering" is to make code-portions as
independent  as  possible  so  they  can  be  understood,  fixed,
improved or replaced without affecting the rest of the browser.

   An  interesting  part of the process is that, as resources are
retrieved,  the  client  (dillo  in  this  case) doesn't know the
Content-Type  of the resource at request-time. It only gets known
when  the  resource  header  is retrieved (think of http), and it
happens  when  the  cache  has the control so, the cache sets the
proper  viewer for it! (unless the Callback function is specified
with the URL request).

   You'll find a good example in http.c.

   Note:  Files  don't have a header, but the file handler inside
dillo  tries  to  determine the Content-Type and sends it back in
HTTP form!

Cache clients

   Cache clients MUST use a_Cache_open_url to request an URL. The
client structure and the callback-function prototype are defined,
in cache.h, as follows:

struct _CacheClient {
   gint Key;                /* Primary Key for this client */
   const char *Url;         /* Pointer to a cache entry Url */
   guchar *Buf;             /* Pointer to cache-data */
   guint BufSize;           /* Valid size of cache-data */
   CA_Callback_t Callback;  /* Client function */
   void *CbData;            /* Client function data */
   void *Web;               /* Pointer to the Web structure of our client */

typedef void (*CA_Callback_t)(int Op, CacheClient_t *Client);


   * Op is the operation that the callback is asked to perform
   by the cache. { CA_Send | CA_Close | CA_Abort }.

   * Client: The Client structure that originated the request.

Key-functions descriptions

int a_Cache_open_url(const char *Url, CA_Callback_t Call, void *CbData)

   if Url is not cached
      Create a cache-entry for that URL
      Send client to cache queue
      Initiate a new connection
      Feed our client with cached data

ChainFunction_t a_Url_get_ccc_funct(const char *Url)

   Scan the Url handlers for a handler that matches
   If found
      Return the CCC function for it
      Return NULL

   *  Ex:  If  Url is an http request, a_Http_ccc is the matching


Redirections mechanism
 (HTTP 30x answers)

  This is by no means complete. It's a work in progress.

  Whenever  an  URL is served under an HTTP 30x header, its cache
entry  is  flagged  with 'CA_Redirect'. If it's a 301 answer, the
additional  'CA_ForceRedirect'  flag  is  also set, if it's a 302
answer,  'CA_TempRedirect'  is  also set (this happens inside the
Cache_parse_header() function).

  Later  on,  in Cache_process_queue(), when the entry is flagged
with 'CA_Redirect' Cache_redirect() is called.


   The  whole  process is asynchronous and very complex. I'll try
to document it in more detail later (source is commented).
   Currently  I  have  a drawing to understand it; hope the ASCII
translation serves the same as the original.
   If  you're  planning to understand the cache process troughly,
write  me  a  note,  just  to assign a higher priority on further
improving of this doc.
   Hope this helps!