Berserk idleLoop in event handling?

Tim Rowledge tim at
Thu Jan 8 06:08:54 UTC 2004

Well, I've found out a little more about my particular problems on the
ol'Acorn. Not too long ago I 'fixed' my implementation of the
ioRelinquishProcessorForMicroseconds routine used in the prim for the
idle loop. Note that this is for an OS that is cooperative
multi-taksing like Mac OS9 etc, so there is no IO thread in the vm.

The previous version took the number of microseconds specified to
'sleep' and shifted it by 14 for a rough conversion to centi-seconds -
the granularity of pausing on the Acorn. Since the only user of the
routine always passed on 1000, we always got 0 as an answer and the
routine devolved to an ordinary event poll call. My fix was to say
"hey, this should at least sleep a little" so I made sure the time was
always at least one  centi-second. This made for a large part of the
sluggishness; since the idleloop is running a lot of the time, the
sleep time was a lot of the overall time. Effectivly this is a busy
wait polling call on this OS; if the idle loop doesn't get to run much
then the event polling is pretty rare. This might become a problem in
some situations I suppose.

Tim Rowledge, tim at,
Backup not found!  A)bort, R)etry or P)anic?

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