A Name Space Based C++ Template Framework For Asynchronous Distributed Message Passing and Event Dispatching


Channel is a C++ template library to provide name spaces for asynchronous, distributed message passing and event dispatching. Message senders and receivers bind to names in name space; binding and matching rules decide which senders will bind to which receivers; then message passing and event dispatching could happen among bound senders and receivers.

Channel's signature:
    template <
      typename idtype,
      typename platform_type = boost_platform,
      typename synchpolicy = mt_synch<platform_type>,
      typename executor_type = abstract_executor,
      typename name_space = linear_name_space<idtype,executor_type,synchpolicy>,
      typename dispatcher = broadcast_dispatcher<name_space,platform_type>
    class channel;  

Various name spaces (linear/hierarchical/associative) can be used for different applications. For example, we can use integer ids as names to send messages in linear name space, we can use path name ids (such as "/sports/basketball") to send messages in hierarchical name space and we can use regex patterns or Linda tuple-space style tuples to send messages in associative name space; User can configure name space easily by setting a channel template parameter.

Channel's other major components are dispatchers; which dispatch messages/events from senders to bounded receivers. Dispatcher is also a channel template parameter.
Sample dispatchers includes : synchronous broadcast dispatcher, buffered asynchronous dispatchers,...

Name space and dispatchers are orthogonal; they can mix and match together freely; just as STL algorithms can be used with any STL containers.

By combining different name space and dispatching policies, we can achieve various models:
Similar to distributed files systems, distributed channels can be connected or "mounted" to allow transparent distributed message passing. Filters and translators are used to control name space changes.

For tightly coupled single-address-space applications/modules, Channel's "unnamed" in/out objects : ports and signal/slots support fine grained and local message passing model without the hassle of setting up a name space and assigning names.

Boost Channel

Boost Channel is the latest implementation of Channel framework for Boost. Boost provides free peer-reviewed portable C++ source libraries. It is emphasized that libraries work well with the C++ Standard Library. Boost libraries are intended to be widely useful, and usable across a broad spectrum of applications. Boost Channel is solely based on standard boost facilities:
Detailed Info:

ACE Channel

ACE Channel is the first implementation of Channel framework on top of ACE (Adaptive Communication Environment) . ACE is a powerful and portable OO/C++ framework for system programming. It provides not only wrapper facade classes to abstract the complete OS facilities, but also frameworks and design patterns for developing multithreaded and distributed applications. ACE Channel uses several key ACE facilities including Reactor, Service Configurator, Task and Acceptor-Connector.

Source Code Download

All released files are hosted at

Supported Platforms

Theoretically Boost Channel can work on any platforms where Boost is supported, since it is solely dependent on  Boost facilities.  Currently Boost Channel is being actively developed and tested in the following platforms:
It will be tested on other platforms (Solaris, NetBSD...) when time and resources are available.


checkout boost cvs source code
download latest boost_channel_x_x.tar.gz
tar xvzf boost_channel_x_x.tar.gz
cd <top directory of channel>
copy subdirectory boost/channel/ to <boost root directory>/boost/
copy subdirectory libs/channel/ to <boost root directory>/libs/
cd to <boost root directory>/libs/channel/exmaple/<specific samples such as ping_pong>

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