The session framework is a framework for building products on Fuchsia. The framework provides software libraries, FIDL protocols, developer tools, and standards to help product owners build their product's user experience.
A session is a component that encapsulates a product’s user experience. It is the first product-specific component started on boot. There is only one session component, but it can be composed of many sub-components. For example, the session for a graphical product instantiates Scenic (graphics) as a child component.
At runtime, the session manager (the component that starts the session) offers capabilities (e.g., storage, network access, and hardware protocols) to the session which the session uses to construct the product experience.
From collection of components to cohesive product
The session manager serves as the boundary between platform components that are present on all Fuchsia products, and product components that are present only on a subset of Fuchsia products.
The diagram above depicts a running Fuchsia product. The
instantiates several different platform components, including
session_manager then launches the session for the given
product configuration, and the session instantiates its own, product-specific,
Even for simple products, the session ends up with a lot of responsibilities. For example, it configures the scene graph, wires up input, integrates accessibility, and so on. The session framework helps the session fulfill these responsibilities by:
- Providing client libraries that implement functionality common across sessions.
- Building components that expose said libraries as FIDL protocols, for sessions not written in languages supported by client libraries.
- Defining FIDL protocols to standardize communication between sessions and components that are present on a wide range of products.
Providing client libraries
Client libraries implement common functionality across sessions. For example,
input tracks available input devices, maintains device state, and allows
sessions to register handlers for events. In the diagram below, the session
includes an input library that talks to the available input devices. The
session instantiates Scenic as a child component, and adds an input handler to
the input pipeline that sends events to Scenic directly.
Another example is the
scene_management library. This library provides
utilities for managing a scene graph. For example, a session that displays
views from different components can use
scene_management to set up an
appropriately configured scene and present the component views.
Not all sessions are written in a language supported by the session framework’s client libraries. In these cases, the session can instantiate components (provided by the session framework) that wrap the library and expose FIDL protocols with an API surface similar to the wrapped library.
In the diagram above, the session instantiates an input component and speaks to it via an input protocol. The session also instantiates Scenic, and makes sure that Scenic and the appropriate services are routed between Scenic and the input component.
Defining FIDL protocols
FIDL Protocols defined by the session framework help sessions consistently integrate content from different runtimes (e.g., Flutter, web). Additionally, these protocols help reduce the burden product owners experience when integrating new runtimes into their products.
Consider a session child component that displays content to the user when it
receives a ping from the network. The session offers the network-listening
ElementManager FIDL protocol. The
allows components to add other components as children of the session at
runtime. The network listener then calls
ElementManager.proposeElement to add
Element (i.e. a component) to the session.
If the session accepts the request, the component is instantiated:
Since the element proposer and the session use a protocol that is defined by
the session framework, the same element proposer can be used across all sessions
that implement the