To interact with NAMESTORE clients first connect to the NAMESTORE service using the GNUNET_NAMESTORE_connect passing a configuration handle. As a result they obtain a NAMESTORE handle, they can use for operations, or NULL is returned if the connection failed.

To disconnect from NAMESTORE, clients use GNUNET_NAMESTORE_disconnect and specify the handle to disconnect.

NAMESTORE internally uses the private key to refer to zones. These private keys can be obtained from the IDENTITY subsystem. Here egos can be used to refer to zones or the default ego assigned to the GNS subsystem can be used to obtained the master zone’s private key.

Editing Zone Information

NAMESTORE provides functions to lookup records stored under a label in a zone and to store records under a label in a zone.

To store (and delete) records, the client uses the GNUNET_NAMESTORE_records_store function and has to provide namestore handle to use, the private key of the zone, the label to store the records under, the records and number of records plus an callback function. After the operation is performed NAMESTORE will call the provided callback function with the result GNUNET_SYSERR on failure (including timeout/queue drop/failure to validate), GNUNET_NO if content was already there or not found GNUNET_YES (or other positive value) on success plus an additional error message.

In addition, GNUNET_NAMESTORE_records_store2 can be used to store multiple record sets using a single API call. This allows the caller to import a large number of (label, records) tuples in a single database transaction. This is useful for large zone imports.

Records are deleted by using the store command with 0 records to store. It is important to note, that records are not merged when records exist with the label. So a client has first to retrieve records, merge with existing records and then store the result.

To perform a lookup operation, the client uses the GNUNET_NAMESTORE_records_lookup function. Here it has to pass the namestore handle, the private key of the zone and the label. It also has to provide a callback function which will be called with the result of the lookup operation: the zone for the records, the label, and the records including the number of records included.

A special operation is used to set the preferred nickname for a zone. This nickname is stored with the zone and is automatically merged with all labels and records stored in a zone. Here the client uses the GNUNET_NAMESTORE_set_nick function and passes the private key of the zone, the nickname as string plus a the callback with the result of the operation.

Transactional operations

All API calls by default are mapped to implicit single transactions in the database backends. This happends automatically, as most databases support implicit transactions including the databases supported by NAMESTORE.

However, implicit transactions have two drawbacks:

  1. When storing or deleting a lot of records individual transactions cause a significant overhead in the database.

  2. Storage and deletion of records my multiple clients concurrently can lead to inconsistencies.

This is why NAMESTORE supports explicit transactions in order to efficiently handle large amounds of zone data as well as keep then NAMESTORE consistent when the client thinks this is necessary.

When the client wants to start a transaction, GNUNET_NAMESTORE_transaction_begin is called. After this call, GNUNET_NAMESTORE_records_lookup or GNUNET_NAMESTORE_records_store(2) can be called successively. The operations will only be commited to the database (and monitors such as ZONEMASTER notified of the changes) when GNUNET_NAMESTORE_transaction_commit is used to finalize the transaction. Alternatively, the transaction can be aborted using GNUNET_NAMESTORE_transaction_rollback. Should the client disconnect after calling GNUNET_NAMESTORE_transaction_begin any running transaction will automatically be rolled-back.

Iterating Zone Information

A client can iterate over all information in a zone or all zones managed by NAMESTORE. Here a client uses one of the GNUNET_NAMESTORE_zone_iteration_start(2) functions and passes the namestore handle, the zone to iterate over and a callback function to call with the result. To iterate over all the zones, it is possible to pass NULL for the zone. A GNUNET_NAMESTORE_ZoneIterator handle is returned to be used to continue iteration.

NAMESTORE calls the callback for every result and expects the client to call GNUNET_NAMESTORE_zone_iterator_next to continue to iterate or GNUNET_NAMESTORE_zone_iterator_stop to interrupt the iteration. When NAMESTORE reached the last item it will call the callback with a NULL value to indicate.

Monitoring Zone Information

Clients can also monitor zones to be notified about changes. Here the clients uses one of the GNUNET_NAMESTORE_zone_monitor_start(2) functions and passes the private key of the zone and and a callback function to call with updates for a zone. The client can specify to obtain zone information first by iterating over the zone and specify a synchronization callback to be called when the client and the namestore are synced.

On an update, NAMESTORE will call the callback with the private key of the zone, the label and the records and their number.

To stop monitoring, the client calls GNUNET_NAMESTORE_zone_monitor_stop and passes the handle obtained from the function to start the monitoring.