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Posted 14 May 2002

Fast Ring Buffer for Incoming Winsock Textual Data

, 14 May 2002
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A fast ring buffer designed for receiving texual data in a Winsock server application.


The CRingBuffer class was designed to be a fast and convenient way of collecting incoming data from a socket, then retrieving it one text line at a time. It intentionally does no dynamic buffer allocation/deallocation during runtime, so as to avoid memory fragmentation and other issues.

It was created in Visual C++ 6 as part of the creation of separate POP3 and SMTP servers. The entire class is contained in a single header file, and uses CString in one function (and as such, requires MFC, although it would be trivial to remove that dependency).

The CRingBuffer Interface

// Constructor

// Destructor
virtual ~CRingBuffer();

// Initializes the ring buffer for use.
BOOL Create( int iBufSize );

// Cleans up the ring buffer.
void Destroy();

// Returns the amount of data (in bytes) available for reading from the buffer.
int GetMaxReadSize();

// Returns the amount of space (in bytes) available for writing into the buffer.
int GetMaxWriteSize(); 

// Writes data into the ring buffer.
BOOL WriteBinary( char * pBuf, int nBufLen );

// Reads (and extracts) data from the ring buffer.
BOOL ReadBinary( char * pBuf, int nBufLen );

// Peeks at a character at the given position in the ring buffer, without
// extracting it.
BOOL PeekChar( int iPos, char & ch );

// Determines if the specified character is in the ring buffer, and if so,
// returns the index position.
BOOL FindChar( char chLookFor, int & riPos ); 

// Reads a line of text from the buffer, if available.
BOOL ReadTextLine( CString & strLine ); 

How To Use It

As previously mentioned, this class is designed for server applications. It probably has very little use outside of that scope. That said, here is an extremely simplified example of how to use it.

#include "RingBuffer.h"

// Initialization

using namespace Stardust;

#define INCOMING_RING_BUFFER_SIZE (1024*16) // or whatever

CRingBuffer m_ringbuf;
m_ringbuf.Create( INCOMING_RING_BUFFER_SIZE + 1 );

char m_chInBuf[ INCOMING_BUFFER_SIZE + 1 ];


// Then later, upon receiving data...

int iNumberOfBytesRead = 0;

while( READ_INCOMING(m_chInBuf,INCOMING_BUFFER_SIZE,&iNumberOfBytesRead,0)
&& iNumberOfBytesRead > 0 )
    // add incoming data to the ring buffer

    // pull it back out one line at a time, and distribute it
    CString strLine;
    while( m_ringbuf.ReadTextLine(strLine) )

        if( !ON_INCOMING( strLine ) )
            return FALSE;

// Fall out, until more incoming data is available...

In the above example, READ_INCOMING and ON_INCOMING are placeholders for functions that read and accept incoming data respectively. READ_INCOMING reads raw incoming data from the socket while ON_INCOMING accepts incoming data from the socket, one line at a time.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Larry Antram
Web Developer
United States United States
I'm a former Microsoft employee (ack!) who was the Primary Developer of Microsoft Scenes 1.0 and the Lead Developer of Microsoft Scenes 2.0. While there, I also worked on the TrueType Font Embedding Library, wrote the Win32 GetUnicodeCodepoints API (which mysteriously disappeared into the void), worked on Font Assistant, Word Assistant, and Office Assistant (long forgotten applications), and did pioneering work on what would eventually become Microsoft PictureIt!.

In 1995, I left Microsoft and founded Stardust Software which I currently own and operate.

My programming experience is primarily in the C/C++/MFC world, secondarily in ASP/JavaScript... with a little COM/ATL sprinkled on top.

Or something like all of that... Smile | :)

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralFix for WriteBinary Pin
ET200520-Mar-08 5:03
memberET200520-Mar-08 5:03 
GeneralThis code is buggy Pin
ET200520-Mar-08 5:54
memberET200520-Mar-08 5:54 
GeneralNot only MFC has CString Pin
ET200520-Mar-08 2:40
memberET200520-Mar-08 2:40 
GeneralProblem with GetMaxWriteSize + WriteBinary Pin
ElDoro14-Mar-08 9:52
memberElDoro14-Mar-08 9:52 
GeneralRe: Problem with GetMaxWriteSize + WriteBinary Pin
ET200520-Mar-08 5:07
memberET200520-Mar-08 5:07 
GeneralFix for ReadBinary Pin
Anonymous7-Dec-04 5:08
sussAnonymous7-Dec-04 5:08 
Generaluserful for server Pin
matrowang26-Jul-04 18:03
membermatrowang26-Jul-04 18:03 
GeneralFixes to Destroy() method Pin
Anonymous13-Jun-02 8:04
memberAnonymous13-Jun-02 8:04 
GeneralInteresting Article Pin
Nick Parker15-May-02 2:25
memberNick Parker15-May-02 2:25 

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