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Data model
This section details the data model on which the BuildStream core operates. This
includes an overview of the project data model which is BuildStream's main input,
the user preferences, and local state.
The ``Project`` object is the main component of a given BuildStream *project*, and
is responsible for loading and validating the :ref:`project.conf <projectconf>`, and
providing this loaded *project data* in a convenient way to the BuildStream core.
Conceptually, the *project* is a container for the :mod:`Elements <buildstream.element>`,
which are declared within a user's project, and as such acts as a factory for instantiating
elements at load time.
:mod:`Elements <buildstream.element>` are the main processing unit in a pipeline. These
are the loaded representation of the ``.bst`` files loaded from the :ref:`project's element path
The *Element* is an abstract base class which cannot do anything on its own, its
concrete class is defined by *plugins* which are either included in the BuildStream
:ref:`core set of plugins <plugins>` or loaded from external sources :ref:`defined by the project
The responsibilities of an element include:
* Loading the element's configuration from the core provided dictionary.
* Providing a unique key for any element specific configuration which might
affect the output produced by the element.
* Configuring the sandbox.
* Staging the data into the sandbox, which might include Sources and
the outputs of previous elements.
* Assembling the output *artifact*.
Element data structure
The properties of an element are a composition of what the BuildStream core understands,
the configurations exposed by the Element plugin, and free form data which allows
annotations and configurations which can be read back by reverse dependencies during
processing, as illustrated here:
.. image:: images/arch-datamodel-element.svg
:align: center
Element composition
The element is composed of configurations which are sourced from various entry
points using the low level YAML utilities.
This composition takes place after :ref:`includes <format_directives_include>` and
:ref:`conditional <format_directives_conditional>` directives are processed, while
:ref:`list composition <format_directives_list_prepend>` directives are processed
as a result of this composition.
Here is a diagram showing which sources take precedence in the composition process
which results in the final element configuration being resolved:
.. image:: images/arch-datamodel-element-composition.svg
:align: center
Note that not all *BuildStream Core Data* is understood by the *Element*, but a great
deal of configurations understood by the *Element* is also understood by the core and
has default configurations built into BuildStream and configurable with the project
configuration. These include values such as *variables*, *environment*, *sandbox*, etc.
As shown above, composition is performed in two stages for each element. First
we compose everything below the line, this happens just once per 'kind' of
element - the result is re-used. Secondly, we compose the element declaration
on top.
:mod:`Sources <buildstream.element>` are the abstract objects which are responsible
for obtaining remote source code or data to import into the build environment, and
ensuring that it is done in a bit-for-bit reproducible way without any contamination
of the host or build environment.
This is to say that:
* User configuration on the host, or filesystem outside of BuildStream designated
directories, must never be modified as a side-effect of running BuildStream.
* When the Source uses host tools, host side configurations must never result in
deviations of what is staged to a build directory. The Source must behave exactly
the same way regardless of host side configurations.
The responsibilities of a source include:
* Loading the source's configuration from the core provided dictionary.
* Providing a unique key for any source specific configuration which might
affect the staged source.
* Implement discovery of new versions of the source upstream (referred to as *"tracking"*).
* Staging the unpacked source to a given directory.
* Preparing workspaces.
Source data structure
Similar to the *Element*, the properties of a source are a composition of what
the BuildStream core understands and the configurations exposed by the Source
.. image:: images/arch-datamodel-source.svg
:align: center
.. note::
In .bst files, the BuildStream core configurations and Source specific configurations
share the same dictionary.
Strictly speaking this is limiting, but provides a measure of convenience as .bst
files are a bit less wordy to express.
Source composition
Source composition is much simpler than Element composition, because defaults
cannot be specified at the project level, excepting for Source type specific
value overrides.
.. image:: images/arch-datamodel-source-composition.svg
:align: center
The Context object is a very centric part of the BuildStream data model, and is
not a part of the Project data described above but rather is where we load and
store all of the user preferences.
User preferences are sourced from various locations, but usually have a default,
an option in the user configuration file, and an option to override it on the
command line.
.. image:: images/arch-datamodel-context.svg
:align: center
Asides from being a focal point for loading and storing all user configuration,
the Context object also plays a central role in the logging framework.
The Workspaces object is yet another kind of state. Unlike the Context and
the Project data model, the Workspaces object loads, saves and stores in
memory the local state regarding a user's active and open workspaces.
These are stored in the local state ``.bst/`` subdirectory of users projects.