On 9 Sep 2003 at 14:42, Thierry Godefroy wrote:

> On Sun, 07 Sep 2003 21:53:34 +0200, Peter Graf wrote:
> > Thierry wrote:
> > 
> > >Yes, this I know, thanks... I'm perfectly aware of the fragmentation and of
> > >out of order receipt of TCP packets... That doesn't change the fact you could
> > >use the fast interrupt to store as many TCP packet as needed (i.e. when they
> > >come in), into a buffer (organized as a linked list of recieved packets),
> > >then to transfer the whole lot of packets to the higher level layers of the
> > >TCP/IP stack at once and every 1/50th of second...
> > 
> > Obviously correct but useless. Try to understand that the problem in your 
> > approach is latency and can not be solved by buffering, no matter how 
> > efficient buffering is implemented.
> From the computer sending packets to a Qx0, the latency would just be seen
> as a longer route... When you ping a computer on Internet, you have to
> wait a variable amount of time for the reply, depending on how many routers
> must be crossed, on how long are the wires (for trans-oceanic links, or worst
> for satellite links, it's far than neglectable), and how fast and/or busy is
> the receiver... 
> If the topographic design of the network between a PC and a Q60 should lead
> to, say, a 200ms delay in the reply, then the TCP/IP implementation on the
> Q60 would simply add a 20ms latency to this number, but in the end, the
> sender should still receive its ACKs between 200 and 220ms after the packets
> are sent...

Sure. That's all obvious but still unrelated to the the given LAN data 
rate challenge.

> Of course, this supposes that the acknowledgement is -actually- done every
> 20ms in the Q60, which is -NOT- the case if it's done at the job level (jobs
> are elected or not, depending on their cumulated priority and are therefore
> -NOT- running each 20ms unless they are alone in memory)...

This is still only the trivial view. It is not applicable to the way I've 
implemented things. Let me give you a (much) simplified example:

A top priority (let's call it 50Hz ISR replacement) job that suspends 
itself long before the 20 ms interval is over (and thereby gives the lower 
priority jobs their share in the same interval) will practically always be 
elected to run again after the suspension time (20 ms) is over. You can 
have 10 other jobs running (most of them will usually block for I/O most 
of the time) and even a benchmark that consumes all the rest of the CPU 
power, it still works. There are rare circumstances where indeed the high 
prio job will not be elected now and then, but under these circumstances 
it is the best that can happen, because some of the user interface should 
remain in working condition. It's better to slow down the network or even 
drop packets under these rare circumstances (let TCP deal with the dropped 
packets :).

Just by the way, the remark with "alone in memory" was completely wrong, 
because it's irrelevant wether a job is loaded and activated. The point is 
in which intervals jobs are blocking for IO (or something else). You can 
easily have the case where several jobs are each and all executed every 20 
ms and all do real work. This is not even unusual if the jobs process data 
from IRQ driven IO, and the IO is slower than the CPU.

> The code for reassembling the fragmented packets and acknowledging them
> must be implemented either as a frame interrupt, or (if frame interrupts
> are still too slow for your taste),

Were are not talking a special taste, but the normal 10 Mbit/s Ethernet 
data rate under TCP.

 by using a polled routine triggered
> by the Q60 fast interrupt (the one used by the sound system).
> The struture for the whole TCP/IP stack would then be:
> 1.- IP packets fetching from the I/F and buffering:
>     - External interrupt handler (best), or fast interrupt polling loop.
> 2.- IP packets reassembling and acknowledging:
>     - polled task: fast interrupt handler (best) or frame interrupt.
> 3.- TCP/IP high level protocols:
>     - High priority (127) job.
> How does this sound ?

I remember that I thought about a similar structure when I was still in 
the very beginning of this project and had not delt with the details.

Firstly your structure would not allow 10 Mbit/s TCP streams in a normal 
LAN. (Note that level 1 won't generate TCP ACKs.)

Second, I wonder what makes you think there were packet acknowledgements 
on IP level.

Third, it is dangerous to let TCP processing run at highest priority. If 
there is very much TCP traffic (let's for a moment take into acount a 
wider range of machines than Q60, or malicious traffic) your user 
interface may stop working.


The list could go on. I for one have 3 different philosphies: One in case 
QDOS is fixed and I have a lot of time, the second in case QDOS is fixed 
and I'm short of time, the third in case QDOS isn't fixed :-) 

Thierry, I don't search for theoretical advice on OS and drivers 
structure. I know quite well what to do in this regard. I just tried to 
find practical feedback if QDOS had been tested with a lot of 

Anyway thanks a lot for trying to help.

All the best

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