[TUHS] EOF on pipes?

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Sun Feb 25 10:53:13 AEST 2018

  Many years ago (when the dinosaurs were using V6), I had a crazy idea[*] 
  that a write(fd, 0, NULL) would somehow signal EOF to the reader i.e. a 
  subsequent read would wait for further data instead of ENOTOBACCO.

  Did any *nix ever implement that?  I have no idea how it would be done.


To answer the real question: stream pipes, which became the only
sort of pipe in the Research stream (sic) sometime between the
8/e and 9/e manuals.

The implementation was trivial, because from the beginning the
metadata within a stream admitted delimiters: markers that meant
`when this object reaches read(2) at the head end, return from
read with whatever has already been delivered.'  Empty messages
(two consecutive delimiters) were explicitly allowed.

If a stream was marked as using delimeters (and pipes always
were), a delimeter was inserted after every write(2).  So
write(2) generated an empty message, and read(2) returned it.

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

More information about the TUHS mailing list