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Lightweight tasks module for ATS

branch: master
README.markdown

Lightweight tasks module for ATS

This is a cooperative tasks module for ATS where the tasks are implemented using ucontext switches.

Install

The library is best used by cloning from under a parent directory that is used to store ATS libraries. This directory can then be passed to the 'atscc' command line using the '-I' and '-IATS' options to be added to the include path. In the examples below this directory is $ATSCCLIB.

cd $ATSCCLIB
git clone git://github.com/doublec/ats-task task
cd task
make

Usage

The first step is to create a task scheduler and install this as the global scheduler:

var sch = scheduler_new ()
val () = set_global_scheduler (sch)

Once this is done tasks can be spawned. 'task_spawn' takes a stack size and a linear closure (cloptr1) that is run when the task is scheduled:

val () = task_spawn (16384, lam () => {
                        val () = print ("hello\n")
                        val () = task_yield ()
                        val () = print ("world\n")
                     })

Tasks can yield using 'task_yield' which results in switching to the next task waiting to run, and scheduling itself to run again later.

The task scheduler needs to be activated with:

val () = run_global_scheduler ()

The scheduler exits when no more tasks are queued. The global scheduler must be unset and free'd:

val () = unset_global_scheduler (sch)
val () = scheduler_free (sch)

A compile error reults if the scheduler is not unset or free'd.

TODO

  • Make set_global_scheduler set it for the current CPU thread, allowing a scheduler to run per CPU.
  • Add intertask communication via channels.
  • Integrate with my ATS libevent wrapper to allow writing libevent based applications in a non-callback style. This was my original motivation for writing this library. This is now partially supported. See the 'test2' example in the TEST directory which demonstrates downloading URL's using libevent without using callbacks in the main code (See the 'do_main' function).

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