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Re: [bug #33138] .PARLLELSYNC enhancement with patch

From: Paul Smith
Subject: Re: [bug #33138] .PARLLELSYNC enhancement with patch
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 16:20:36 -0400

On Wed, 2013-04-17 at 23:00 +0300, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> I'd be surprised if this were a real problem nowadays.  E.g., the
> Windows C runtime is documented to allow up to 512 FILE streams, which
> can be enlarged to 2048 by calling a function.  The max number of file
> descriptors is also 2048.

GNU make is still used on some pretty ancient UNIX versions, but of
course they probably aren't using -j512 either.  I don't know if it's a
problem in reality.

> > Also, a stream is much more resource-heavy than a file descriptor, as it
> > implies buffering etc. in addition to the open file.  We wouldn't use
> > the buffering, but it's still there.
> What's wrong with using the buffering?

Nothing, really, but we just don't need it.  We don't write, ourselves,
to the temporary file: the jobs we invoke write to them.  What we do is
after the job exits we seek to the beginning of the file, then pump the
exact contents out of the temporary file and into our stdout (and/or
stderr) as quickly and efficiently as possible (because this is done
while holding the lock and thus is potentially blocking other jobs from
finishing).  Because of this we're using read(2) and write(2) with a big

There's no particular reason I know of that we couldn't use, for
example, fread()/fwrite() instead, other than efficiency.  One assumes
that using a stream interface introduces an extra copy operation on both
the read and write side (instead of kernel->buffer->kernel, we would
have kernel->stream->buffer->stream->kernel), but I don't have any
particular opinion on the difference it would make: it would require
some testing.

Of course there's no reason we have to use fread()/fwrite() even if we
keep FILE*; that can be transformed into a file descriptor (for POSIX)
or HANDLE (for Windows) for more efficiency.

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