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Thunk Functions

In computer programming, a thunk is a function used to inject a calculation into another function. Thunks are used to insert operations at the beginning or end of the other function to adapt it to changing requirements. If you remember from the function call context section, the on_load function and skeleton function signatures looked like this:

func OnLoad() {
exports := wasmlib.NewScExports()
exports.AddFunc("divide", funcDivide)
exports.AddFunc("init", funcInit)
exports.AddFunc("member", funcMember)
exports.AddFunc("setOwner", funcSetOwner)
exports.AddView("getFactor", viewGetFactor)
exports.AddView("getOwner", viewGetOwner)

func funcDivide(ctx wasmlib.ScFuncContext) {}
func funcInit(ctx wasmlib.ScFuncContext) {}
func funcMember(ctx wasmlib.ScFuncContext) {}
func funcSetOwner(ctx wasmlib.ScFuncContext) {}
func viewGetFactor(ctx wasmlib.ScViewContext) {}
func viewGetOwner(ctx wasmlib.ScViewContext) {}

Now that the schema tool introduces a bunch of automatically generated features, that is no longer sufficient. Luckily, the schema tool also generates thunks to inject these features, before calling the function implementations that are maintained by the user. Here is the new on_load function for the dividend contract:

func OnLoad() {
exports := wasmlib.NewScExports()
exports.AddFunc(FuncDivide, funcDivideThunk)
exports.AddFunc(FuncInit, funcInitThunk)
exports.AddFunc(FuncMember, funcMemberThunk)
exports.AddFunc(FuncSetOwner, funcSetOwnerThunk)
exports.AddView(ViewGetFactor, viewGetFactorThunk)
exports.AddView(ViewGetOwner, viewGetOwnerThunk)

for i, key := range keyMap {
idxMap[i] = key.KeyID()

As you can see, instead of calling the user functions directly, we now call thunk versions of these functions. We also added initialization of a local array that holds all key IDs negotiated with the host, so that we can simply use (generated) indexes into this array instead of having to negotiate these IDs each time we need them. The rest of the generated code will use those indexes whenever a known key is used.

Here is an example of a thunk function for the setOwner contract function. You can examine the other thunks that all follow the same pattern in the generated lib.xx:

type SetOwnerContext struct {
Params ImmutableSetOwnerParams
State MutableDividendState

func funcSetOwnerThunk(ctx wasmlib.ScFuncContext) {
// only defined owner of contract can change owner
access := ctx.State().GetAgentID(wasmlib.Key("owner"))
ctx.Require(access.Exists(), "access not set: owner")
ctx.Require(ctx.Caller() == access.Value(), "no permission")

f := &SetOwnerContext{
Params: ImmutableSetOwnerParams{
id: wasmlib.OBJ_ID_PARAMS,
State: MutableDividendState{
id: wasmlib.OBJ_ID_STATE,
ctx.Require(f.Params.Owner().Exists(), "missing mandatory owner")
funcSetOwner(ctx, f)
ctx.Log("dividend.funcSetOwner ok")

First, the thunk logs the contract and function name to show the call has started. Then it sets up the access control for the function according to the schema definition file. In this case it retrieves the owner state variable, requires that it exists, and then requires that the caller() of the function equals that value. Any failing requirement will panic out of the function with an error message. So this code makes sure only the owner of the contract can call this function.

Next, we set up a strongly typed function-specific context structure. First, we add the function-specific immutable params interface structure, which is only present when the function can have parameters. Then we add the contract-specific state interface structure. In this case it is mutable because setOwner is a Func. For Views this will be an immutable state interface. Finally, we add the function-specific mutable results interface structure, which is only present when the function returns results. Obviously, this is not the case for this setOwner function.

Now we get to the point where we can use the function-specific params interface to check for mandatory parameters. Each mandatory parameter is required to exist, or else we will panic out of the function with an error message.

With the automated checks and setup completed, we now call the function implementation that is maintained by the user. After the user function has completed, we log that the contract function has completed successfully. Remember that any error within the user function will cause a panic, so this logging will never happen in that case.

In the next section we will look at the specifics of view functions.