The guides in this section document all possibly breaking changes in the library for that last versions of CAF.
0.8 to 0.9¶
Version 0.9 included a lot of changes and improvements in its implementation, but it also made breaking changes to the API.
self has been removed¶
This is the biggest library change since the initial release. The major problem
with this keyword-like identifier is that it must have a single type as it’s
implemented as a thread-local variable. Since there are so many different kinds
of actors (event-based or blocking, untyped or typed),
to perform type erasure at some point, rendering it ultimately useless. Instead
of a thread-local pointer, you can now use the first argument in functor-based
actors to “catch” the self pointer with proper type information.
actor_ptr has been replaced¶
CAF now distinguishes between handles to actors, i.e.,
typed_actor<...> or simply
actor, and addresses
of actors, i.e.,
actor_addr. The reason for this change is that
each actor has a logical, (network-wide) unique address, which is used by the
networking layer of CAF. Furthermore, for monitoring or linking, the address
is all you need. However, the address is not sufficient for sending messages,
because it doesn’t have any type information. The function
current_sender() now returns the address of the sender. This
means that previously valid code such as
will cause a compiler error. However, the recommended way of replying to
messages is to return the result from the message handler.
The API for typed actors is now similar to the API for untyped actors¶
The APIs of typed and untyped actors have been harmonized. Typed actors can now be published in the network and also use all operations untyped actors can.
0.9 to 0.10 (
libcppa to CAF)¶
The first release under the new name CAF is an overhaul of the entire library.
Some classes have been renamed or relocated, others have been removed. The
purpose of this refactoring was to make the library easier to grasp and to make
its API more consistent. All classes now live in the namespace
all headers have the top level folder
caf instead of
the convenience header to get all parts of the user API is now
"caf/all.hpp". The networking has been separated from the core
library. To get the networking components, simply include
caf/io/all.hpp and use the namespace
Version 0.10 still includes the header
cppa/cppa.hpp to make the
transition process for users easier and to not break existing code right away.
The header defines the namespace
cppa as an alias for
Furthermore, it provides implementations or type aliases for renamed or removed
classes such as
cow_tuple. You won’t get any warning about deprecated
headers with 0.10. However, we will add this warnings in the next library
version and remove deprecated code eventually.
Even when using the backwards compatibility header, the new library has breaking changes. For instance, guard expressions have been removed entirely. The reasoning behind this decision is that we already have projections to modify the outcome of a match. Guard expressions add little expressive power to the library but a whole lot of code that is hard to maintain in the long run due to its complexity. Using projections to not only perform type conversions but also to restrict values is the more natural choice.
any_tuple => message
This type is only being used to pass a message from one actor to another.
message is the logical name.
partial_function => message_handler
Technically, it still is a partial function. However, we wanted to put emphasize on its use case.
cow_tuple => X
We want to provide a streamlined, simple API. Shipping a full tuple abstraction
with the library does not fit into this philosophy. The removal of
cow_tuple implies the removal of related functions such as
cow_ptr => X
This pointer class is an implementation detail of
should not live in the global namespace in the first place. It also had the
wrong name, because it is intrusive.
X => message_builder
This new class can be used to create messages dynamically. For example, the
content of a vector can be used to create a message using a series of
accept_handle, connection_handle, publish, remote_actor, max_msg_size, typed_publish, typed_remote_actor, publish_local_groups, new_connection_msg, new_data_msg, connection_closed_msg, acceptor_closed_msg
These classes concern I/O functionality and have thus been moved to
0.10 to 0.11¶
Version 0.11 introduced new, optional components. The core library itself,
however, mainly received optimizations and bugfixes with one exception: the
on_exit is no longer virtual. You can still provide
it to define a custom exit handler, but you must not use
0.11 to 0.12¶
Version 0.12 removed two features:
- Type names are no longer demangled automatically. Hence, users must explicitly pass the type name as first argument when using
- Synchronous send blocks no longer support
continue_with. This feature has been removed without substitution.
0.12 to 0.13¶
This release removes the (since 0.9 deprecated)
cppa headers and
*_send_tuple versions (simply use the function
local_actor::on_exit once again
In case you were using the old
cppa::options_description API, you can
migrate to the new API based on
extract (see Extracting Command Line Options).
Most importantly, version 0.13 slightly changes
last_sender. Both functions will now cause undefined behavior (dereferencing
nullptr) instead of returning dummy values when accessed from outside a
callback or after forwarding the current message. Besides, these function names
were not a good choice in the first place, since “last” implies accessing data
received in the past. As a result, both functions are now deprecated. Their
replacements are named
0.13 to 0.14¶
timed_sync_send has been removed. It offered an
alternative way of defining message handlers, which is inconsistent with the
rest of the API.
The policy classes
actor_pool were removed and replaced by
factory functions using the same name.
0.14 to 0.15¶
Version 0.15 replaces the singleton-based architecture with
Most of the free functions in namespace
caf are now member functions of
actor_system (see Environment / Actor Systems). Likewise, most functions in
caf::io are now member functions of
Middleman). The structure of CAF applications has changed fundamentally
with a focus on configurability. Setting and fine-tuning the scheduler, changing
parameters of the middleman, etc. is now bundled in the class
actor_system_config. The new configuration mechanism is also easily
Patterns are now limited to the simple notation, because the advanced features (1) are not implementable for statically typed actors, (2) are not portable to Windows/MSVC, and (3) drastically impact compile times. Dropping this functionality also simplifies the implementation and improves performance.
blocking_api flag has been removed. All variants of
spawn now auto-detect blocking actors.