[erlang-questions] Issues with stdin on ports

Richard A. O'Keefe ok@REDACTED
Thu Aug 1 01:38:31 CEST 2013

On 31/07/2013, at 8:10 PM, David Welton wrote:
> Erlang's handling of external programs leaves something to be desired
> compared to other languages:
> * You can't kill them.

You really can't _always_ kill them (or not _simply_)
in other languages either.

Consider the following.

% cat foobar.c
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main(void) {
    int i;

    for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
        fprintf(stderr, "Iteration %d\n", i);
    fprintf(stderr, "Done\n");
    return 0;
% cc -o foobar foobar.c
% csh -c "foobar"

Set foobar running your favourite programming language.
If you get a process ID back, it will be the process ID
of the shell, _not_ the process ID of the foobar process.
Kill the process ID you got back, and you just kill the
shell.  foobar keeps on running.

Even if you are using a PTY to connect to the the
script, a process that calls setsid() has no controlling
terminal, so won't be interrupted by the equivalent of ^C.

If the scheme that you use doesn't go through a shell,
just change foobar to start with

    i = fork();
    if (i != 0) return i < 0;

In the MAJORITY of cases, killing the first process that
got started will in fact make the others drop dead too.
Just be aware that it won't ALWAYS work.

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