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Linus Torvalds wrote:
> However, we also need to remember what got us to this discussion in the
> first place. One of the reasons why poll() is such a piggy interface is
> exactly because it tries to be "nice" to the programmer.

poll() is a piggy interface because it is O(n) in polled file
descriptors, not because of its level-triggered nature.

> I'd much rather have an event interface that is documented to be edge-
> triggered and is really _lightweight_, than have another interface that
> starts out with some piggy features.

Agreed (except for that 'edge-triggered' part), but I don't think
'level-triggered' implies piggy. I haven't benchmarked whether
kqueue() slows down the networking layer of FreeBSD yet; do you
suspect maintaining the level-triggered structures actually is
a bottleneck for them?

> I do understand that level to some degree is "nicer", but everybody pretty
> much agrees that apart from requireing more care, edge-triggered certainly
> does everything the level-triggered interfaces do.


> For example, if you want to only partially handle an event (one of the
> more valid arguments I've seen, although I do not agree with it actually
> being all that common or important thing to do), the edge-triggered
> interface _does_ allow for that. It's fairly easy, in fact: you just
> re-bind the thing.
> (My suggested "bind()" interface would be to just always add a newly bound
> fd to the event queue, but I would not object to a "one-time test for
> active" kind of "bind()" interface either - which would basically allow
> for a poll() interface - and the existing Linux internal "poll()"
> implementation actually already allows for exactly this so it wouldn't
> even add any complexity).
> ... the "re-bind()" approach works very simply, and means that the
> overhead of testing whether the event is still active is not a generic
> thing that _always_ has to be done, but something where the application
> can basically give the kernel the information that "this time we're
> leaving the event possibly half-done, please re-test now".

Hmm. I don't like the extra system call, though. Any chance you'd be
willing to make get_events() take a vector of bind requests, so we can
avoid the system call overhead of re-binding? (Or is that too close
to kqueue for you?)

And are you sure apps will always know whether they need to rebind?
Sometimes you're faced with a protocol stack which may or may not
read the requests fully, and which you aren't allowed to change.
It'd be nice to still have a high-performance interface that can deal with
that situation.
- Dan
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