I'm a zeromq newb and have implemented the REQ/RES Lazy Pirate pattern with C#. It's essentially a port from the C example given in the documentation. It's harnessed by tests, and seems to be work to my expectations. I'm interested to know if I'm understanding the pattern correctly, or if I can improve the API. If anyone knows of a pre-existing solution, I'd love to know too. Any advice would be great.

using System;
using System.Text;
using ZMQ;

namespace zeromq.net {
    public class LazyPirateClient : ReqRes {
        private readonly string _address;
        private readonly long _timeOut;
        private readonly int _retries;
        private bool _responseReceived;
        private int _attempt;

        public LazyPirateClient(string address, long timeOut, int retries) {
            _address = address;
            _timeOut = timeOut;
            _retries = retries;            

        public override void Send(Func<byte[]> byteProvider) {
            _responseReceived = false;
            using (var context = new Context(1)) {
                _attempt = 0;
                do {
                    using (var requester = context.Socket(SocketType.REQ)) {
                        requester.Send(byteProvider(), SendRecvOpt.NOBLOCK);
                        var item = requester.CreatePollItem(IOMultiPlex.POLLIN);
                        item.PollInHandler += item_PollInHandler;
                        context.Poll(new[] { item }, _timeOut);
                        requester.Linger = 0;
                } while (_attempt < _retries && !_responseReceived);

                if (!_responseReceived)
                     throw new PermenantFailException(_attempt);

        private void item_PollInHandler(Socket socket, IOMultiPlex revents) {
            _responseReceived = true;
            var bytes = socket.Recv(SendRecvOpt.NOBLOCK);
            OnReceived(new ResponseReceivedEventArgs(bytes, _attempt));

     public abstract class ReqRes {
        public abstract void Send(Func<byte[]> byteProvider);
        public delegate void ResponseReceived(object sender, ResponseReceivedEventArgs e);
        public event ResponseReceived ReceivedHandler;

        public void OnReceived(ResponseReceivedEventArgs e) {
            var handler = ReceivedHandler;
            if (handler != null) handler(this, e);
  • \$\begingroup\$ Minor improvement, in c# class properties use PascalCase. So you would have Address, Timeout, ResponseReceived, etc. You also have a typo in PermanentFailException. \$\endgroup\$ – ANeves thinks SE is evil Feb 6 '12 at 13:59

It seems zeromq will release sent data itself. With GC supported in C#, this feature is useless. The byteProvider parameter seems inappropriate, so why not just use IEnumerable<byte>?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The motivation for a byteProvider is if you need to regenerate a message on each attempt. For example, if you need to regenerate a timestamp, or id in the message. There is a version (not shown here) that has an overload for IEnumerable<byte> such that: public override void Send(IEnumerable<byte> bytes) { Send(() => bytes); } Using the byteProvider is not the vanilla case, but is there in case you need it. \$\endgroup\$ – stantona Feb 7 '12 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ The send operation is asynchronous in zeromq, so when send() return, it doesn't mean the data has been sent. I didn't find asynchronous action in your send() method, do you provide another SendAsync()? And if the operation is asynchronous, then, use func<byte[]> as parameter is not proper - the send action will be executed on another thread any other time, if you invoke the func<byte[]> that time, you should have to guarantee the resources referenced in func<byte[]> are still available. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon. Li Feb 8 '12 at 3:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ One thing I have met just like what you done, and in the delegate I referenced an autowaitevent, the program crashed sometime - The autowaitevent might be disposed when I call it in asynchronously delegate. In order to enhance the stability of program, I suggest IEnumerable<byte>. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon. Li Feb 8 '12 at 3:43

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