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Re: Clearing O_NONBLOCK from a pipe may lose data

Am 20.02.2015 um 00:47 schrieb Andrey Repin:
Greetings, Thomas Wolff!

Am 19.02.2015 um 10:51 schrieb Corinna Vinschen:
On Feb 18 22:08, Lasse Collin wrote:
(Please Cc me when replying, I'm not subscribed to the list.)


I suspect that there is a bug in Cygwin:

1. Create a pipe with both ends in blocking mode (O_NONBLOCK
     is not set).
2. The writer sets its end to non-blocking mode.
3. The writer writes to the pipe.
4. The writer restores its end of the pipe to blocking mode
     before the reader has read anything from the pipe.
5. The writer closes its end of the pipe.
6. The reader reads from the pipe in blocking mode. The last
     bytes written by the writer never appear at the reader,
     thus data is silently lost.

Omitting the step 4 above makes the problem go away.
I can imagine.  A few years back, when changing the pipe code to
using overlapped IO, we stumbled over a problem in Windows.  When
closing an overlapped pipe while I/O is still ongoing, Windows
simply destroys the pipe buffers without flushing the data to the
reader.  This is not much of a problem for blocking IO, but it
obviously is for non-blocking.

The workaround for this behaviour is this:  If the pipe is closed, and
this is the writing side of a nonblocking pipe, a background thread gets
started which keeps the overlapped structure open and continues to wait
for IO completion (i.e. the data has been sent to the reader).

However, if you switch back to blocking before closing the pipe, the
aforementioned mechanism does not kick in.
Could not "switching back to blocking" simply be handled like closing as
far as the waiting is concerned,
thus effectively flushing the pipe buffer?
You can't "just flush" it, if the receiving end isn't reading from it.
By flushing I meant actually waiting until it's been consumed at the
other end in this case, if that's technically feasible.
I see no strict requirement that the fcntl call removing O_NONBLOCK from
a file descriptor should itself still be handled as nonblocking (it can
well be argued that the flag is changed first and then the call is
allowed to block) - and even if this were not proper it is certainly
more acceptable than losing data.

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