Those unfamiliar with actor like messaging, may wonder what a pubsub messaging is.
PubSub (Publisher-Subscriber) messaging is much like a producer/consumer architecture: some entities publish messages on a topic;
other entities can subscribe to the topic to receive those messages.


Since libmodule 2.1, pubsub implementation is async and makes use of unix pipes.
When sending a message to other modules, a pubsub message is allocated and its address is written in recipient module’s writable end of pipe.
The message will then get caught by modules_loop, the address read from readable end of pipe and callback called with the message.

Since libmodule 4.0.0, module_tell() makes use of module references: it means recipient should be ref’d through module_ref().
Note that you cannot call any function on a module’s reference as you cannot impersonate another module.
Only module_is(), module_get_name/context() and module_poisonpill() functions can be called through a module’s reference.

System messages

Beside USER messages (ps_msg_t.type), there are some system messages, respectively: LOOP_STARTED, LOOP_STOPPED, MODULE_STARTED, MODULE_STOPPED.
These pubsub messages are automatically sent by libmodule when matching functions are called, eg:
* LOOP_STARTED(STOPPED) is sent whenever a loop starts(stops) looping. It is useful to actually start(stop) your pubsub messagging (eg: one module waits on LOOP_STARTED to send a pubsub message to another module, and so on…). It won’t have any valued fields, except for type.
* MODULE_STARTED(STOPPED) is sent whenever a module starts/resumes(stops/pauses). Again this is useful to inform other modules that a new module is available.
It will have valued type and sender fields; sender will be set to started(stopped) module; it will be NULL though when a module is stopped by deregistering it.

Finally, note that system messages with valued sender won’t be sent to modules that actually generated the message.


Topics are just strings. Thus, if subscribing to “foo” topic, a module will receive: broadcasted messages, messages told directly to it and messages published on “foo” topic.
Note that you can subscribe to regex patterns too, eg: “f[o+]” would receive messages published on “fo”, “foo”, “fooo” etc etc.
When you unsubscribe from a regex topic, you should pass same regex to which you subscribed.


Note that a context must be looping to receive any pubsub message.
Moreover, when a context stops looping, all pubsub messages will be flushed and thus delivered to each RUNNING module.
Pubsub message sent while context is not looping or module is PAUSED are buffered until context starts looping/module gets resumed. For more information, see pipe capacity.
Finally, please be aware that data pointer sent through pubsub messaging is trusted, ie: you should pay attention to its scope.