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SubjectRe: [patch, rfc] lt-epoll ( level triggered epoll ) ...
On Fri, 14 Mar 2003, Davide Libenzi wrote:
> See, this is a free world, and I very much respect your opinion. On the
> other side you might want to actually *read* the kqueue man page and find
> out of its 24590 flags, where 99% of its users will use only 1% of its
> functionality. Talking about overbloating. You might also want to know

Wow...that does sound overbloated. Simpler is usually better in this kind
of thing, because 99% of the users will be doing the same thing: a lot of
TCP connections. From what I've seen so far, I'm very much looking forward
to your epoll stuff.

However, just for the heck of it, let me throw out a (probably stupid) idea
for the ultimate in non-overbloated interfaces for handling a ton of TCP
connections in the (probably most) common case of those connections all
being to the same port. I've not looked into the kernel at all to see if
this would actually be feasible...just speculating based on what I'd like
as someone writing a server that I'd like to have handle 100k TCP
connections on commodity hardware.

How about an option to put a bound socket in a mode I'll call TCP Datagram
Mode (TDM). You can listen() on a TDM socket. When you accept() on a TDM
socket, you get a socket for the new connection, just like now. However,
that socket is only used for writing to the connection.

When data is available to read on the connection, instead of getting POLLIN
on the connection socket, you get a new event on the listen socket: POLLSDG
(SDG == "stream datagram"...generalization of "TCP Datagram"). You can then
use recvmsg on the listen socket, and that gives you a chunk of data from
one of the connections. The ancillary data tells you what connection the
data is from.

With this interface, plain old poll() should be good enough. For reading,
you are only poll()ing on the listen socket. You only need to poll() on the
write sockets if you fill up output buffers. So, most of the time, poll()
would only be used on one socket. Even plain old poll() scales well
to 1. :-)

(Actually...it might even be reasonable to use sendmsg() on the listen
socket to send data, too, and then get rid of the whole accept() thing for
TDM sockets. Basically, turn multiple TCP connections into a reliable form
of UDP from the application's point of view)

--Tim Smith

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