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Thanks to Wim has more patiently explained some of the Win32 
IO mechanisms.

>2.  Waitable objects can not be simply categorised
>read/write/exception/timer events.

Agreed. However HANDLES can be split into those that perform
IO (socket, file, name pipe, anonymous pipe, directories) and 
those that provide signalling information.

>WSAAccept does not support overlapped operation
>however (because it does not involve read/write?)
AcceptEx does (available on NT/2K/XP/2003).

>through a WSAEventSelect call or through overlapped I/O.
WSAEventSelect (like all syncronization objects other than
completion ports) are very limited in that they can only 
wait on 64 objects (like FD_SET can only have 64 sockets).

CreateIoCompletionPort/GetQueuedCompletionStatus does not
suffer from this limitation. Add PostQueuedCompletionStatus
and one can effectively emulate select/poll.

Using events with overlapped IO runs into the 64 object
limit and gets very complicated.

I would highly recommend reading

Re: "MsgWaitForMultipleObjects" .
If the event system also has to deal with Win32 GUI message
loops then methinks the Events lib is rapidly going to get 
very complicated. I would suggest that the GUI processing
be left to a later phase.


>Hi Mike and Diego,
>your event efforts are much needed.  I know I've been
>thinking about a win32 version off and on so I hope
>you can help me out!  
>Just some comments from the Win32 world to help you
>form a picture of what is going on (I leave the
>details for now, though I'm willing to discuss those
>of course.)
>1.  Waitable objects
>2.  Event categories?
>3.  Events and Message queues (relevant for the UI
>4.  Events vs. overlapped I/O
>5.  Sockets and events
>1.  Just like David Burgess pointed out a useful event
>lib for win32 should only rely on waitable objects,
>represented by the HANDLE type in Win32. Other
>interesting types like file descriptors, sockets, etc.
>can only be used sensibly if you map them to a
>waitable HANDLE object.  There are several ways to do
>these mappings.  I'll sketch some possibilities below.
>There is a fairly convenient set of waitable objects
>in Win32: mutex, event (condition), semaphore, thread,
>process, timer and more.  The equivalents of a
>"select" call are the "WaitForMultipleObjects" and
>"MsgWaitForMultipleObjects" calls in Win32.  Both
>block until a waitable object becomes signalled (or a
>message is pending, see below.)  However, in contrast
>to select, these calls only report one event at a time
>(it is possible to then iterate over and probe all
>events without blocking, a bit like
>2.  Waitable objects can not be simply categorised
>read/write/exception/timer events.  For example,
>waiting for a synchronisation object (mutex,
>semaphore, event) does not logically fall into any of
>these categories (waiting for a thread is more or less
>equivalent to a pthread_join call.)  Another example
>is a directory change notification object that can
>signal a range of interesting events in a directory
>(tree.)  This implies that an event lib should not
>rely on such a categorisation but concentrate solely
>on the concept of an event as "something happened" and
>leave the interpretation to the respective event
>objects / handlers.
>3.  If you want to use events in an application's main
>thread then the event iterator should include arrival
>of messages in the thread's queue.  This event is not
>represented by some waitable object but requires using
>a MsgWaitForMultipleObjects call to wait for objects
>to become signalled and reports pending messages
>through its return value.  Personally I dislike the
>use of events in the main thread, but it is an issue
>4.  To complicate things, events in Win32 are
>sometimes coupled to a pending activity.  This is most
>obvious in the concept of "overlapped I/O."  Instead
>of waiting for an event "data available" and then
>doing a read or receive (as in the socket select
>scheme) overlapped I/O works the other way around:
>you do an overlapped read/receive and then wait for
>the "data available" event for this specific activity.
> Overlapped I/O is available for file, pipe and socket
>I/O (at least, there may be others.)  So overlapped
>I/O does not strictly match the "select" paradigm. 
>For file handles, overlapped I/O is the only way to
>make a distinction between read/write events on the
>handle.  Two scenarios exist for overlapped I/O:
>"manual" and "completion routines."  The "manual"
>scenario means that you wait for an overlapped event
>signal and then take some action.  A completion
>routine is a callback function that is called
>automatically if the thread enters an "alertable" wait
>state.  This means that completion routines are called
>(if data was sent/received) implicitly and before a
>wait function returns.  The
>implicit character of completion routines make them
>less suitable for an event system where events are
>typically decoupled from their interpretation (that is
>only invoked explicitly.)  This again hints at
>separation between an event and its interpretation,
>even in the read/write categories.
>5.  Finally (for now at least) sockets allow two ways
>to be mapped onto an event object (a bit like a
>pthread condition):  through a WSAEventSelect call or
>through overlapped I/O.  The overlapped I/O option
>initiates an actual send/receive activity without
>blocking and you can wait for its completion,
>signalled by a specified event object.  Overlapped I/O
>on sockets is done through WSARecv and WSASend. 
>WSAAccept does not support overlapped operation
>however (because it does not involve read/write?)  The
>other option more closely resembles the select
>approach: with WSAEventSelect you can associate an
>event object with a socket and the event object
>signalled if certain specified socket conditions are
>met.  These conditions include read/write/accept and
>more.  A socket can only be bound to a single
>event object.  You can probe the actual socket
>conditions with a call to WSAEnumSocketEvents.  There
>is also a WSAAsyncSelect call but it should be
>avoided as it relies on the message queue to signal
>events and it does not fit in with the general event
>I hope this helps a bit.  You see that there are many
>ways to go about. Further discussions are more than
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