Curious behaviour of gen_tcp

Alexis Lê-Quôc <>
Wed Jan 31 20:24:31 CET 2001


Thanks again for all the quick responses.

I've taken your advice by catenating binaries in one move.

As far as the gen_tcp problem is concerned, I've tracked it down to the
other process closing the connection before all data were sent. Thus the
tcp_closed was received as I should have expected :-(. What works is to wait
for some time before actually closing the socket at the server end
(non-erlang). What does not is to remove that fix and have the server socket
lingering on close. I have not found any way to set lingering options on an
erlang socket. I'm still looking at the problem...

Thank you again for the responses.

Alexis

-----Original Message-----
From: 
[mailto:]On Behalf Of Sean Hinde
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 9:48
To: 'Alexis Le-Quoc'; 
Cc: 
Subject: RE: Curious behaviour of gen_tcp


Hi,

I don't know the answer to your question about whether it is possible to
receive a tcp_closed before all the data is received from a socket, but
another observation may be of interest.

In R7B when you do concat_binary it will create a completely new binary.
This means that every time you go round your loop and append a new bit of
data you create a new copy of the entire buffer plus the new bit. This can
very quickly chew up all your memory..

It is generally better for large amounts of data if you maintain a list of
binaries and concatenate them in one go at the end. You can also use size/1
to get the size of a binary:

 loop_busy(Queue, Socket, Buffer) ->
   receive
     {tcp, Socket, Data} ->
       loop_busy(Socket, [Buffer, Data]);
     {tcp_closed, Socket} ->
       io:fwrite("Finished ~w", [size(concat_binary(Buffer))]),
       loop_idle(Queue);
     Any ->
       io:fwrite("Received ~w~n", [Any])
   end.

I'm not sure whether this behaviour changes in R8 with more support for
segmented binaries...

- Sean

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alexis Le-Quoc [mailto:]
> Sent: 30 January 2001 22:54
> To: 
> Cc: 
> Subject: Curious behaviour of gen_tcp
>
>
> Hello everyone,
>
> I'm using the following program structure to have an erlang process
> communicate with a socket based server (written in perl). The code is
> simplified on purpose.
>
> start() ->
>   loop_idle().
>
> loop_idle(Queue)
>   case not_empty(Queue) of
>     true ->
>       send_and_loop(Queue);
>     _ ->
>       do_nothing
>   end;
>
>   receive
>     {send, Data} ->
>       send_and_loop(Data);
>     _ ->
>       log_crap
>   end.
>
> send_and_loop(Queue) ->
>   {ok, Socket} = gen_tcp:connect("localhost", 1, [binary,
> {packet, 0}]),
>   gen_tcp:send(Socket, Queue:pop()),
>   loop_busy(Queue, Socket, <<>>).
>
> loop_busy(Queue, Socket, Buffer) ->
>   receive
>     {tcp, Socket, Data} ->
>       loop_busy(Socket, concat_binary([Buffer, Data]);
>     {tcp_closed, Socket} ->
>       io:fwrite("Finished ~w", [length(binary_to_list(Buffer)]),
>       loop_idle(Queue);
>     Any ->
>       io:fwrite("Received ~w~n", [Any])
>   end.
>
> %%%%%%%%%%%%%
>
> This works great except that for responses bigger than 70 KB,
> I don't get
> consistent results, i.e. sometimes, the response received by erlang is
> about the right size (compared to what was sent by the
> server, always the
> same size), sometimes, it's half or a quarter of the size.
>
> Am I correct in assuming that the {tcp_closed..} pattern does not
> necessarily match after {tcp, Socket, Data}? I.e. the process
> will match
> some {tcp, Socket, Data} and then, if {tcp_closed...} has
> been received,
> it *can* match it and exit the loop *while* there are still
> {tcp, Socket,
> Data} messages in its mailbox.
>
> If this is correct, does it mean that I need to spawn a
> listener process
> which will do gen_tcp:recv() and notify the parent that it
> has received
> all data?
>
> I have to say I'm a bit boggled by this one.
>
> Alexis
>



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