CycloneDDS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ is based on the captured interactions on Github (related to both open as well as closed issues) and as such includes reference(s) to Github for more details related to the posed questions (and/or answers)

Category: API

Question: how to specifiy a domain id ?

  • There's some confusion w.r.t. the multiple ways to specify a domain id for Cyclone DDS
Answer: when specifying DDS_DOMAIN_DEFAULT upon creating a participant, the value as specified in the configuration (pointed to by the CYCLONEDDS_URI env. variable) will be used or 0 if not specified there.
  • Not hardcoding the domain_id is seen as good practice yet its (now) also allowed to specify the (now default) value 'any' in the configuration which implies that a (or better any) domain id can be used in dds_create_participant()
reference: cyclonedds/issues/23 and https://github.com/eclipse-cyclonedds/cyclonedds/pull/24

Category: Patterns

Question: how to filter 'self-sent' data ?

  • How to filter out the messages on a subscriber that the same participant has sent
Answer: the publication_handle can be checked on equality with the one returned by the get_instance_handle() on the writer-side
  • Two (upcoming) alternative ways of filtering would be (1) to make such identification part of the data itself, so it can be content-filtered once supported or (2) exploit the ignore_participant() API and/or related dds_qset_ignorelocal QoS's
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/8 and cyclonedds/issues/78

Category: Best Practices

Question: take() operation returns no data ?

  • A take() in combination with TRANSIENT_LOCAL QoS and BEST_EFFORT reliability sometimes returns no data
Answer: proper TRANSIENT_LOCAL durability-behavior requires RELIABLE delivery so the use-case is actually a anti-pattern
  • Note that the (re-)used pingpong example is messy w.r.t. either data-arrival or handling a signal could trigger the waitset (where in the latter case, no data would be returned)
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/154

Category: DataModel / IDL

Question: what (non-Xtypes) IDL is supported ?

  • Issue #350 and related open issue #795 address the question on what IDL types are supported
Anser: this should be clearly documented but apparently (see #795) this isn't yet the case
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/350 and cyclonedds/issues/795

Question: what characters are allowed for topic-names ?

  • Using a hyphen ('-') in a topic-name isn't accepted
Answer: only alphanumeric characters, '/' and '_' are allowed in topic-names
  • Contrary to the DDS spec (https://www.omg.org/spec/DDS/1.4/PDF) somehow both CycloneDDS and OpenSpliceDDS support "_" rather than "-" as the spec prescribes
  • An open question is: will/can we ever correct this and also: does this impact interoperability with other DDS implementations where topics with a "-" in the name might 'emerge' ?
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/657

Category: Concepts

Question: what is the difference between read() and take() ?

  • When looking at the examples, its unclear what the difference between them is and when to use one or the other
Answer: read() is non-destructive meaning you can read the data again (as it remains in your reader-history) whereas take() actually removes the 'taken' samples from that history
  • Typical usecases: when exploiting DDS as a shared-dataspace that (often) captures shared-state, a read() operation is appropriate to access the most recent state whereas when using DDS for pub/sub event-distribution the take() operation is more appropriate
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/17

Question: how to assure that all subscribers get the data from a short-lived publisher ?

  • When starting many subscribers of the HelloWorld example, not all get all published data
Answer: by default, data is volatile meaning that when data is published/written before subscribers/readers are present, data won't be delivered
  • Multiple reasons/remedies can be identified for this 'seeming data-loss': (1) the writer may be gone already before the reader emerges, remedy is exploiting TRANSIENT QoS for the data, (2) as discovery takes time, some data might already be published before the match between publisher/subscriber is discovered (even when both are started at the same time), remedy is to exploit 'endpoint-awareness' as provided by dds_get_publication_matched_status() and wait in the publisher until the current_count equals the number of required/expected subscribers
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/25

Question: (Writer-)History QoS KEEP_ALL doesn't result in late-joining reader(s) to receive the data

  • The (in the OMG-spec) specified KEEP_ALL behavior seems to suggest that data is kept available for (later) delivery
Answer: for preserving published data for late-joining subscribers, the DURABILITY QOS should be used (that works in conjuction with HISTORY but isn't the same)
  • 'History' and 'Durability' are orthogonal concepts meaning that KEEP_ALL writer-history allows for a system 'in steady state' (in this case relating to existing readers) to 'eventually' deliver all samples from that writer-history to the history-cache of such an EXISTING reader. If on the other hand, data needs to be preserve for 'late-joining' readers, Durability features of DDS can be exploited (i.e. TRANSIENT_LOCAL or TRANSIENT QoS) to assure that such non-volatile data will be preserved and delivered to late-joining NEW readers (and in case of TRANSIENT data even if the publisher/writer of that data has already 'gone', noting that TRANSIENT QoS is still under development as of feb'22)
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/49

Question: how to communicate between DDS-domains ?

  • Apparently fastDDS has some built-in mechanisms for this
Answer: Cyclone relies on Zenoh (https://github.com/eclipse-cyclonedds/cyclonedds/issues/www.zenoh.io) for that
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/1094

Question: is DDS useful for intermittent local communications without a fixed network

  • related to mobile devices that go in/out of range
Answer: for such use-cases, the combination of ZettaScale’s DDS and Zenoh products is suggested
  • Syster project "Eclipse Zenoh" explicitly targets dynamic connectivity and allows for transparent integration with an (otherwise) DDS-based system
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/524

Question: what’s the semantics behind on_data_available ?

  • It seems that on_data_available is triggered not just on actual new data arriving
Answer: the on_data_available callback applies to both data as well as (instance-lifecycle)meta-data
  • following an on_data_available call-back, a read(or take) will return either valid data (when new data arrived) or an invalid-sample to convey a lifecycle change related to the writer (typically for an empty instance i.e. one for which the data was already ‘taken’ by a previous call-back response
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/1084

Category: Performance

Question: why are there huge latency outliers when sending huge samples ?

  • When sending 1MB samples on a 'standard' ubuntu distro (18.04), latencies can spike from a typical 2 ms towards 150 ms
Answer: although Cyclone 'asks' the OS for a 1MB socket-receive-buffer, in many cases it will give out a smaller buffer and thus requires to configure a higher allowed maximum receive-buffer-size
  • Inspecting /proc/sys/net/core/rmem_max (on Linux) typically shows that such a maximum is insufficient for the intended sample-sizes and thus needs to be 'upped' i.e. using sysctl -w net.core.rmem_max=
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/294

Category: Language Support

Question: is 'rust' an available language binding ?

  • As CycloneDDS is about the only opensource DDS_implementation written in 'C', it should (at least theoretically) be possible to create a 'rust' binding on-top of it
Answer: at the time of asking (aug/202), there was an initiative to add an opensource rust-binding to Cyclone
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/573

Category: Configuration

Question: how to use multiple (network) partitions in a custom profile

  • How to setup partitions in a custom profile
Answer: Cyclone allows to map logical DDS-partitions on physical ‘network-partitions’ (typically multicast-groups)
  • Although the question was driven by reducing discovery, the below reference still contains a nice write-up on how to exploit network-partitions in Cyclone DDS
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/883

Question: how to configure multiple network-interfaces

  • its hard/tricky to get communication working when having nodes with multiple network-interfaces
Answer: automatic routing might prevent correct communication in case of multiple configured interfaces
  • Setting the ‘General/DontRoute’ config-option typically prevents the issue reported here
  • Multi-homing and routing is slated for a ‘deep-dive’ topic as its likely to pop up regularly in more complex setups
Reference: cyclonedds/issues/1190