[590] in Coldmud discussion meeting

root meeting help first first in chain previous in chain previous next next in chain last in chain last

Re: New functions on the version 0.12 of the server

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Thu Nov 17 19:28:05 1994 )

From: deforest@netcom.com (Robert de Forest)
To: azuki@ci.uminho.pt
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 16:06:17 -0800 (PST)
Cc: coldstuff@MIT.EDU
In-Reply-To: <9411172147.AA21056@orpheu.ci.uminho.pt> from "azuki@ci.uminho.pt" at Nov 17, 94 10:47:12 pm

> Can someone tell me what are the new functions available on the version 12
> of the server do please?
> I have been inspecting the C code to try to find some guidelines and i
> found the following functions which aren't documented:
> suspend()
> resume()
> tasks()
These were added by Jordan Baker to version 0.11.3 to create 0.12.0. They allow
 a task to suspend indefinitely, to be resumed by another task, or canceled.

Suspend causes a task to be stored in the internal table of suspended tasks.
 It takes no args and returns a value specified by the resume() call or 0 if
 none. Resume causes a task to finish processing, removing it from the
 suspended task table. It takes args of a task id and optional return value.
 It has no meaningful return value. There is another new function you missed,
 "cancel", which takes an arg of an id and deletes the suspended task without
 resuming it. The tasks() function returns a list of suspnded tasks by id.
 (The id of the currently running task is returned by task_id().)

> pause()
> ticks_left()
The pause() function suspends a task and resumes it when all other suspended
 tasks and pending IO have been serviced, and restores the tick count for the
 current frame to its full count (I think). ticks_left() returns the number of
 ticks that may be used up before ~ticks is thrown. This allows for

while (!done) {
  // do stuff
  if (ticks_left() < 200)

MOO users will recognize it as doing what suspend(0) is used for. Suspend()
 can't be used since it doesn't modify the tick count. It would be necessary to
 store local data as static data and use the heartbeat to schedule continuation
 of a long process. The eventual solution will be multi-threading and such.

Pause takes no args and returns nothing useful.

> callers()
Callers returns the call stack in the form [sender, caller, method, line],
 where sender and caller were this() and definer() respectively in their own
 frames, method is the name of the method holding the code that placed the
 call, line is the line in the code where the call happened. Keep in mind that
 with the introduction of tasking the method may have changed since the call
 was made. Changes to code used in a suspended task will not effect the task.
 The server makes a copy of each method when it suspends.

Also note that use of this function as part of your design is STRICTLY
 discouraged. It was added for use as a debugging tool. THe intent is to write
 an in-db throw() function which does not in fact throw, but suspends the task
 and notifies the programmer of the event allowing 'em to inspect the db.
 Having callers() available makes a lot of debug code unnecessary.

> tick()
I added this to to 0.10.x to make it easier to measure the efficiency of code.
 Sometimes talking about big-oh, linear time, log time, and Murphy's law just
 doesn't get you anywhere and you need a way to know which way uses more
 actual instructions. tick() returns the number of instructions executed since
 the server started. Of course, this number will probably flip over many times
 a day in a fast server with heavy usage, but for integer arithmatic this is
 no big deal. t = tick(); do_stuff; ticks_used = tick() - t; is always going to
 return the same thing for the same number of ticks used by do_stuff;

The ticks_left() function is only meaningful within a single stack frame.
 ColdMUD keeps a separate tick count for each frame. For those not familiar
 with this terminology, every method call starts a new stack frame. The stack
 frame is destroyed when it returns or an error is thrown or propegated. (They
 are also destroyed when a task is canceled, but this is a somewhat unnatural
 occurance and best not thought about. :) The tick() function tracks tick usage
 across method calls, so that do_stuff; in the above example could contain a
 method call and would account for the ticks used within that call which
 ticks_left() would not.

> size()
This function takes one parameter, an object, and returns its size in bytes as
 it would be stored on disk. ColdMUD binary files are encoded in a format which
 uses only 7 bits, making them mail-able (?), so though proportional, the
 relationship between the size of an object in memory and on disk is a mystery
 to me.

> hostname()
> ip()
Modifications to add the above were posted to Coldstuff some time ago and I
 made them in my copy and now they're kindof official I guess. They return the
 hostname and numeric IP address of a string address respectively. That is,
 hostname("") => "localhost" and ip("localhost") => "".

> set_name()
> del_name()
I could have SWORN these were documented. They were added for version 10 when
 Greg added the name layer. set_name(dbref, symbol) associates that symbol with
 that dbref such that get_name(symbol) => dbref. del_name(symbol) removes the
 asociation. Incidentally, $foo is syntactically equivalent to get_name('foo);

> db_top()
This returns the integer number of the next object to be created. Not all that
 useful since we have $name_expressions and no renumber() and so on, but that's
 what it is. It was also added with version 10.

> some of these functions are self explanatory, others are not so evident and
> i would appreciate if someone could give a small explanation of what these
> functions do, as i will surely be developing things on this server, i would
> like to be able to use it to its best.
> Thanks in advance.
> -Rui Mendes.

One other thing: The functions suspend, resume, cancel, tasks, callers, size,
 set_name, and del_name are $sys-only. Methods not defined on #0 will not be
 able to use these functions without getting ~perm thrown at them.

I hope the FAQ manager will add the above info :)

Crag / Robert