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hi everybody

finally, i think i have it working! it's a library of helper threads, meant to 
make it easy to write nonblocking libraries in C.

to be a bit more specific: in C, you split funcions in three:

static int xxx_prepare (lua_State *L, void **udata)
static int xxx_work (void *udata)
static int xxx_finish (lua_State *L, void *udata)

and register it with a macro add_helperfunc (L, &ops)   (where ops is a struct 
with those three C functions).  after that, you get a Lua function in the 

from Lua, you call that function, it calls the xxx_prepare() funcion with any 
given parameters and returns a 'task'.

before that, you would have created a couple (or more) FIFO queues with 
helper.newqueue(), and one or more threads with helper.newthread().  each 
thread has one input and one output queue (several threads can share a 

when you add the task to the queue (with queue:addtask (task)), a thread will 
pick it up, and execute xxx_work() with the same udata built by the 
xxx_prepare().  after xxx_work() returns, the thread pushes the task in the 
output queue.

back in Lua, you can do a queue:wait(), it blocks until there's a task in the 
queue (put there by a thread).  then you call helper.finish(task) to execute 
xxx_finish().  xxx_finish() should dispose any memory used by the task (in 
udata), and return any value to the Lua caller.

now, we could write non-blocking versions of most IO libraries, and build Lua 
wrappers that use this primitives to get a coroutine scheduler.

i'll post it later in LuaForge; any thoughts about the architecture?


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