up-to-date version of the Tutorial is available via Subversion repository: http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/thrift/trunk/tutorial/

# Thrift Tutorial
# Mark Slee (mcslee@facebook.com)
# This file aims to teach you how to use Thrift, in a .thrift file. Neato. The
# first thing to notice is that .thrift files support standard shell comments.
# This lets you make your thrift file executable and include your Thrift build
# step on the top line. And you can place comments like this anywhere you like.
# Before running this file, you will need to have installed the thrift compiler
# into /usr/local/bin.

 * The first thing to know about are types. The available types in Thrift are:
 *  bool        Boolean, one byte
 *  byte        Signed byte
 *  i16         Signed 16-bit integer
 *  i32         Signed 32-bit integer
 *  i64         Signed 64-bit integer
 *  double      64-bit floating point value
 *  string      String
 *  map<t1,t2>  Map from one type to another
 *  list<t1>    Ordered list of one type
 *  set<t1>     Set of unique elements of one type
 * Did you also notice that Thrift supports C style comments?

// Just in case you were wondering... yes. We support simple C comments too.

 * Thrift files can reference other Thrift files to include common struct
 * and service definitions. These are found using the current path, or by
 * searching relative to any paths specified with the -I compiler flag.
 * Included objects are accessed using the name of the .thrift file as a
 * prefix. i.e. shared.SharedObject
include "shared.thrift"

 * Thrift files can namespace, package, or prefix their output in various
 * target languages.
namespace cpp tutorial
namespace java tutorial
php_namespace tutorial
namespace perl tutorial
namespace smalltalk.category Thrift.Tutorial

 * Thrift lets you do typedefs to get pretty names for your types. Standard
 * C style here.
typedef i32 MyInteger

 * Thrift also lets you define constants for use across languages. Complex
 * types and structs are specified using JSON notation.
const i32 INT32CONSTANT = 9853
const map<string,string> MAPCONSTANT = {'hello':'world', 'goodnight':'moon'}

 * You can define enums, which are just 32 bit integers. Values are optional
 * and start at 1 if not supplied, C style again.
 *              ^ ThriftIDL page says "If no constant value is supplied,
 *   the value is either 0 for the first element, or one greater than the
 *   preceding value for any subsequent element" so I'm guessing that's a bug.
 *   PS: http://enel.ucalgary.ca/People/Norman/enel315_winter1997/enum_types/ states that if values are not supplied, they start at 0 and not 1.
enum Operation {
  ADD = 1,
  DIVIDE = 4

 * Structs are the basic complex data structures. They are comprised of fields
 * which each have an integer identifier, a type, a symbolic name, and an
 * optional default value.
 * Fields can be declared "optional", which ensures they will not be included
 * in the serialized output if they aren't set.  Note that this requires some
 * manual management in some languages.
struct Work {
  1: i32 num1 = 0,
  2: i32 num2,
  3: Operation op,
  4: optional string comment,

 * Structs can also be exceptions, if they are nasty.
exception InvalidOperation {
  1: i32 what,
  2: string why

 * Ahh, now onto the cool part, defining a service. Services just need a name
 * and can optionally inherit from another service using the extends keyword.
service Calculator extends shared.SharedService {

   * A method definition looks like C code. It has a return type, arguments,
   * and optionally a list of exceptions that it may throw. Note that argument
   * lists and exception lists are specified using the exact same syntax as
   * field lists in struct or exception definitions.  NOTE: Overloading of
   * methods is not supported; each method requires a unique name.

   void ping(),

   i32 add(1:i32 num1, 2:i32 num2),

   i32 calculate(1:i32 logid, 2:Work w) throws (1:InvalidOperation ouch),

    * This method has an oneway modifier. That means the client only makes
    * a request and does not listen for any response at all. Oneway methods
    * must be void.
    * The server may execute async invocations of the same client in parallel/
    * out of order.
   oneway void zip(),

 * It's possible to declare more than one service per Thrift file.
service CalculatorExtreme extends shared.SharedService {
    void pingExtreme(),

 * That just about covers the basics. Take a look in the test/ folder for more
 * detailed examples. After you run this file, your generated code shows up
 * in folders with names gen-<language>. The generated code isn't too scary
 * to look at. It even has pretty indentation.

Tutorial (last edited 2010-10-29 07:02:30 by RogerMeier)