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Entry  12 Dec 2008, Jimmy Ngai, Info, Custom page which executes custom function 
    Reply  14 Dec 2008, Stefan Ritt, Info, Custom page which executes custom function 
    Reply  01 Jan 2009, Konstantin Olchanski, Info, Custom page which executes custom function 
       Reply  13 Jan 2009, Stefan Ritt, Info, Custom page which executes custom function 
Message ID: 547     Entry time: 01 Jan 2009     In reply to: 541     Reply to this: 552
Author: Konstantin Olchanski 
Topic: Info 
Subject: Custom page which executes custom function 
> How can I add a button at the top of the "Status" webpage which will show a 
> page similar to the "CNAF" one after I click on it? and how can I make a 
> custom page similar to "CNAF" which allow me to call some custom funtions? I 
> want to make a page which is particularly for doing calibration.

I was going to say that you can do this by using the MIDAS "hot-link" function.

In your equipment program, you create a string /eq/xxx/Settings/Command, and hot-link
it to the function you want to be called. (See midas function db_open_record() for details
and examples). (To test it, you put a call to printf("Hello world!\n") into your handler function,
then change the value of "command" using odbedit or the mhttpd odb editor
and observe that your function gets called and that it receives the correct value of "command").

Then on your custom web page you create 2 buttons "aaa" and "bbb" attached to javascript
ODBset("/eq/xxx/Settings/Command","aaa") and "bbb" respectively. When you push the button,
the specified string is written into ODB, and your hot-link handler function is called with the contents
of "command", which you can then look at to find out which web button was pushed.

But after looking at the hot-link data paths (see, I see 2 
problems that make the above scheme unreliable and maybe unusable in some applications:

1) the data path contains one UDP communication and it is well known that UDP datagrams can be (and 
are) lost with low or high probability, depending on not-well-understood external factors.

The effect is that the hot-link fails to "fire": odb contents is changed but your function is not called.

2) there is a timing problem with multiple odb writes: the odb lock is dropped before the "hot-link" gets 
to see the new contents of odb: db_data_set()->lock odb->change data->send notification->unlock 
odb->xxx->notification received by client->read the data->call user function. If something else is 
written into odb during "xxx" above, the client may never see the data written by the first odb write. For 
local clients, the delay between "send notification" and "notification is received by client" is not bounded in 
time (can be arbitrary long, depending on the system load, etc). For remote clients, there is an additional 
delay as the udp datagram is received by the local mserver and is forwarded to the remote client through 
a tcp rpc connection (another source of unbounded delay).

The effect is that if buttons "aaa" and "bbb" are pushed quickly one right after the other, while your 
function will be called 2 times (if neither udp packet is dropped), you may never see the value of "aaa"
as is it will be overwritten by "bbb" by the time you receive the first notification.

Probability of malfunction increases with code written like this: { ODBset("command", "open door"); 
ODBset("command", "walk through doorway"); }. You may see the "open door" command sometimes 
mysteriously disappear...

The net effect is that sometimes you will push the button but nothing will happen. This may be okey,
depending on your application and depending on how often it happens in practice on your specific system 
If you are lucky, you may never see either of the 2 problems listed above ad hot-links will work for you 
perfectly. At TRIUMF, in the past, we have seen hot-links misbehave in the TWIST experiment, and now I 
think I understand why (because of the 2 problems described above).

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