[Haskell-cafe] Re: Hugsvs GHC (again)was: Re: Somerandomnewbiequestions

Simon Marlow simonmar at microsoft.com
Thu Jan 20 05:22:36 EST 2005

On 20 January 2005 09:56, Keean Schupke wrote:

> Why is disk a special case? I have never heard that all processes
> under linux wait for a disk read...

You were talking about Haskell threads, not processes!  These are quite
different things.

> The kernel most certainly does not busy wait for disks
> to respond, so the only alternative is that the process that needs to
> wait (and only that process) is put to sleep. In which case a second
> thread would be unaffected.
> Linux does not busy wait in the Kernel! (don't forget the kernel does
> read-ahead,
> so it could be that read really does return 'immediately' and without
> any delay
> apart from at the end of file - In which case asynchronous IO just
> slows you down with extra context switches).

The question is whether Haskell threads block when one of them is
reading from the disk, and this has nothing to do with what happens in
the kernel.   I never said that Linux busy waits in the kernel.

The reason that disk I/O is different is because select() treats it
differently, and select() is what GHC's runtime currently uses to
multiplex I/O.


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