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SubjectRe: n_tty.c driver patch (semantic and performance correction) (a ll recent versions)
Um... "no duh"  (I have been programming Unix boxen for twenty years)

In point of fact I specifically AND repeatedly stated that there would
probably be no change to human-interactive applications.

On the other hand there are a wide number of applications that do have need
for variable packet lengths, VMIN/VTIME style timeouts and known, but
variable sized or larger than 256 byte packet sizes.

The entire "smart card" arena is one such set of applications. Also test
gear, and simple X/Y/Z modem type transfers.

If it talks at serial speeds, if it has any kind of TIMEOUT feature and/or
if it doesn't makes sense to strobe it out with no-delay reads (e.g.
perhaps because there isn't any background-worthy in-application task
n'cest pa?) Then having the VMIN and VTIME behaviors, but not having them
block for un-asked for characters or unconscionably short packets makes
lots of sense.

As I said, repeatedly calling the kernel TO ASSEMBLE AN INPUT BUFFER if
VMIN == 1 IS DUMB.

Reading out single (raw) keystrokes isn't "ASSEMBLING AN INPUT BUFFER", it
is INTERACTING WITH A USER. [For the audience that is reading along: (in
cooked mode the buffer assembly happens in... gasp... one read call...) (in
an editor, for example, or a similar application where VMIN==1 us used, the
task of aggregating the input into storage is not so straight forward as
assembling an input buffer as the nature of each keystroke may impact the
larger state of the program)

When reading data from a non-human source the predictability goes up and
the buffered data can be more efficiently blocked out by known predicates,
etc. This is the audience for the patch.

Rob.


At 21:04 7/28/2002 +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
>On Sun, 2002-07-28 at 03:34, Robert White wrote:
> > Having virtually every user on the planet realize this and just set
> VMIN == 1
> > is an fairly telling indicator.
> >
> > Repeatedly calling the kernel to assemble an input buffer which is
> necessary
> > if VMIN ==1, is dumb.
>
>VMIN was basically invented for communication protocols when you know
>the block length that should arrive within a given timeout. Its pretty
>much essential on old old boxes and was very important for
>interrupt/context switch reduction when doing block transfers. In that
>world the read blocks or in O_NDELAY returns -EAGAIN (0 in old SYS5)
>until the data block is big enough to warrant its copying. Similarly
>poll has no business saying data is ready until a large enough block is.
>
>When talking to a human setting VMIN > 1 makes no sense anyway. In fact
>nowdays it makes even less sense than it did before because of the use
>of UTF8 encodings for unicode characters.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
-- Rob White -- Consider: for all vectors v, Cv - Cv = 0 --
-- rwhite@pobox.com -- general relativity is thus disproved. --
----------------------------------------------------------------------
-- There once was a man who claimed nothing was true, --
-- he was later, of course, found to be lying. --
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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