yield in vala and gio concurrency

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

By no means, I’m an expert in Vala or Gio. Infact, I’m just a beginner, but I have learned something while playing with vala which I want to record (for future reference). Here I’ll explain how Gio’s async framework works and how vala uses Gio beneath the tree.

Gio Async Framework

Better to explain with an example,

Here, I have created a new GObject class called TestGioAsync with something_to_say property. I have implemented a simple async function called test_gio_async_say. When called, test_gio_async_say will setup GSimpleAsync object, attach another function called test_gio_async_say_idle_func into GMainLoop’s next idle iteration and return.

Once test_gio_async_say_idle_func triggered, it takes the value from something_to_say property and put it into g_simple_async_result_set_op_res_pointer as op_res (which will be picked-up later) and completes the async transaction with g_simple_async_result_complete_in_idle which will call the test_gio_async_say_cb provided in test_gio_async_say in GMainLoop’s next idle iteration.

Once test_gio_async_say_cb triggered, it will call test_gio_async_say_finish which will simply return op_res which contains the value taken from something_to_say property.

Vala Async Framework

This is the equivalent vala example for the above C example

Vala async functions returns immediately whenever it reaches yield keyword, In this example, I have hooked this.say.callback into GMainLoop’s next idle iteration. In the next idle iteration, this.say will be called and will start execution exactly after the yield statement which will eventually trigger the anonymous lambda function provided in this.say.begin with sentence as return value.

Once the lambda function triggered, it will call this.say.end which will return the sentence value to the lambda function.

In Vala example, this.say.callback is equivalent to test_gio_async_say_idle_func in C example.