[FFmpeg-devel] Controlling the server reply (was: 9/9] doc/example: Add http multi-client) example code

Nicolas George george at nsup.org
Sat Jul 11 11:55:36 CEST 2015

Le primidi 21 messidor, an CCXXIII, Stephan Holljes a écrit :
> Good question, I haven't thought about that myself. Adding a 404 error
> to handle_http_errors() and calling it with AVERROR_HTTP_NOT_FOUND
> could be a solution. I feel like the name "handle_http_errors" is not
> well chosen then, though.

Unfortunately, that will not do, because handle_http_errors() is not public

And this is a rather fundamental issue, we can not disregard it just by
making handle_http_errors() public. I had hoped we could finish this patch
series and handle this issue afterwards, but it seems it must be addressed
sooner. Let me explain.

Returning 404 Not found, or 401 Unauthorized, or... is performed by the
library, but it is the decision of the application (I hope the distinction
between application and library is clear). The library can not know if a
particular file exists or not, because it does not even know if the
application is getting the files from the filesystem or from a database or
from on-the-fly computations. And the library can even less know the policy
for authorizing files.

I can see three rather distinct sub-issues:

Q1. how the library communicates to the application the details of the

Q2. how the application communicates to the library the decision it made;

Q3. when the application can make its decision.

Q3 is the crux of the problem: remember we had to split avio_accept() into
avio_accept() and avio_handshake() to give the application a chance of
forking or any other solution to handle several clients in parallel. Just
the same, we will have to split avio_handshake() further to give the
application a chance of making a decision.

Furthermore, we need something that will work not only for HTTP but for any
protocol that FFmpeg may support as a server.

Q1 is the logical equivalent to the "address" parameter to the accept()
system call. To be sure of it, think of an application that serves files
without authentication on the local network but requires authentication
otherwise: the client's address is part of the decision making.

Q1 has a rather obvious and easy answer, that is the reason I hoped we could
leave it for later: put the request parameters in the context and access
them with the AVOption system. Thus, the application would access the
request path with something like "av_opt_get(client_ctx,
"http_request_path", AV_OPT_SEARCH_CHILDREN)".

Q2 have the same obvious answer: "av_opt_set_int(client_ctx,
"http_reply_code", 404)".

Q3 is the hard part.

I can see an answer to Q3, but since this is your internship, I think it is
better to give you a chance to find your own answer first.

When thinking on it, remember two situations that the API must be able to

* A protocol can have several round-trips with decision to make at each
  step. For example, first negotiate the authentication scheme, then
  authenticate, then request a resource. All this is part of the handshake,
  but the application needs an entry point at each step.

* Nested protocols: in HTTP-over-TCP, there is no decision to make until we
  have the full request, but in HTTP-over-TLS, i.e. HTTPS, the application
  needs a hook during the TLS handshake to handle Server Name Indication,
  and then the normal HTTP hook to set the reply code. We do not want to add
  special code in the upper protocol to handle the lower protocol.

Please let me know your thoughts about that.


  Nicolas George

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