Lua module to watch coroutine usage and kill a coroutine if it fails to yield in a timely manner.
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README.md

corowatch

Lua module to watch coroutine usage and kill a coroutine if it fails to yield in a timely manner. The main purpose is preventing code from locking the Lua state. As a convenience function coroutine.wrapf() is included which allows any function to be watched, not only coroutines.

Implementation notes

  1. To protect access to coroutines, the module must override the existing coroutine functions. Besides overriding the create(), wrap(), status(), yield(), and resume() functions, it adds additional functions watch(), wrapf() and gettime() to the global coroutine table.
  2. Additionally the global debug.sethook() is modified to prevent a coroutine from removing it's own 'watch' routine (from the paranoia department).
  3. Important: The default gettime() function loads LuaSocket to use the socket.gettime() function. If you do not use LuaSocket, then it might be better to replace coroutine.gettime() with a more lightweight implementation.

Usage

Usage is fairly simple, call the watch() method on a coroutine to protect it and provide the timeouts and callbacks as required.

Example (see the ./examples folder):

require("corowatch").export(_G) -- monkey patch the globals

local f = function()
  local callcount = 0
  while true do
    -- something for a coroutine to do here
    callcount = callcount + 1
  end
end
local kill_timeout = 1   -- seconds
local warn_timeout = 0.8 -- seconds
local warncount = 0
local cb = function(cbtype)
  if cbtype == "kill" then 
    print("now killing coroutine...")
  elseif cbtype == "warn" then 
    warncount = warncount + 1
    print("Warning, coroutine might get killed...." .. warncount)
    if warncount < 4 then
      return true   -- reset the timeouts
    end
  end
end

print(coroutine.resume(corowatch.watch(coroutine.create(f), kill_timeout, warn_timeout, cb)))

When run the example code returns the following results;

Warning, coroutine might get killed....1
Warning, coroutine might get killed....2
Warning, coroutine might get killed....3
now killing coroutine...
false	Coroutine exceeded its allowed running time of 1 seconds, without yielding

Limitations

The mechanics of this library depend on the debug library. A debug hook is set to repeatedly (once every 10000 VM instructions) check the coroutine for a time out. When a timeout is detected, an error is generated that will kill the coroutine (coroutine status will be 'dead'). There are two ways that it won't work;

  1. When a C function is being executed; the debughooks can only interrupt Lua code, not C code. So if C code takes too long or locks, it won't be interrupted.
  2. When the running code that gets interrupted is inside a protected call (Lua side pcall(), xpcall() or C-side lua_pcall()) then the error thrown by corowatch will not kill the coroutine, but it will be caught by that protected call.

To mitigate these situations; the debughook is altered once the first error is thrown. It will from there on run every 1 VM instruction. This will then rethrow the same error directly after the C function or protected call that caught the previous error. This process is repeated until the coroutine dies, and effectively cascades the error up the callstack.

Documentation

The documentation is available online at GitHub

Tests

Tests are located in the ./spec folder and can be run using busted

Changes

  • 1.0, 4-Feb-2014, no automatic monkey patching of globals anymore
  • 0.2, 7-Apr-2013, fixed debughook settings, improved performance
  • 0.1, 4-Apr-2013, initial release

License

MIT license

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.