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Subject: Re: [Boost-users] Understanding fibers
From: Stephan Menzel (stephan.menzel_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-12-17 06:59:32

Hi Gavin,

On Sun, Dec 16, 2018 at 11:42 PM Gavin Lambert via Boost-users <
boost-users_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> If you're already using Boost.Asio, then you can just use that, without
> mixing in Boost.Fiber.
> Asio already supports coroutines and a std::future interface -- although
> note that these are thread-blocking futures and are intended only for
> use for callers *outside* the main I/O thread(s).
Yes, I have been using asio all over the place for many years but I have
never used the coroutine interface. Only recently discovered it and plan to
use it. I don't however see how I can integrate it into my plans here.
First, this library uses asio but with that one thread and I cannot
intrusively change that lib into using fibers because I can't imply that
for every use case scenario. I'd rather shield the internal working from
the user.
Second, the coroutine interface seems to work on the basis of special async
operations within asio that allow for this to work. I don't have those.
Like when I consider a mocked asio coroutine usage like

loop {
   asio::async_read( ..params.., yield, ec);
   asio::async_write( ...params..., yield, ec);

This works because asio offers those async ops that take the coroutine
object and allow continuation. My code doesn't have that. At some point I
do have to wait on those futures.

loop {
   boost::future<int> result = my_redis.get("value");
   const int value = result.get();

And even if it were fiber futures that doesn't change much:

loop {
   boost::fibers::future<int> result = my_redis.get("value");
   const int value = result.get();

Asio would still magically have to 'know' that it can switch to another
fiber inside the get(). I have seen this page here:
which I assume talks about this very thing but unfortunately this is way
over my head.

Inherently though an Asio io_context running on a single thread *is* a
> kind of fiber scheduler for operations posted through that context,
> including both actual async_* operations and arbitrary posted and
> spawned work.

Yes, in a way I do see that and I am investigating use of asio here. If
only because this is normally my go-to solution in those cases. Which was
my original approach before I started looking into fibers. But I got
What I would need for this to work would be the mock-up code above. I'd
have to be able to post a handler into the io_context which can wait on
those futures without blocking the io_service. I considered spawing a great
many threads on this io_context so I could stomach a number of them
blocking without bogging down everything too much but this seems just wrong.

However, I will continue to explore this option as you are right, I think
the solution is just there, I'd only have to see it.


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