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- Subject: RE: cooperative multitasking
- From: "Jeff Petkau" <jeffp@...>
- Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 14:01:45 -0700
> > Hmm, in what I've worked on, a thread switch in the script engine
> >could be as fast as changing a pointer
> The limitation is when you have a call into a registered function, and
> you want it to block and return control to your "normal" non-Lua C code.
> At that point you have a call stack that looks something like this:
> So with a fiber, all that stays as is, you switch to your C code, and
> switch back when you like, and when you do that stack is still exactly
> as it was. With a coroutine, if you want to yield
> _but_not_to_another_Lua_thread_, you have to unwind all that, and wind
There's a much, much simpler fix for this: Don't Do That, Then.
C and C++ do not support microthreads (I'll follow Edgar's advice
and stop calling them coroutines.) Using Lua as your script language
will not suddenly make C and C++ start supporting microthreads, no
matter what you do. But with the simple, obvious, fast implementation,
you can have excellent microthread support *In Lua*, with some
unfortunate but unavoidable restrictions in your C functions--namely
that a C function called from Lua, which calls back into Lua code
which might yield, must explicitly push its state and use a trampoline.
It sounds like a pain, except that in practice it almost never happens
anyway; by going with fibers you'd be eliminating huge practical
benefits in favor of almost purely theoretical ones.
[Sorry, I often tend to rant for no reason.]