How do I cancel a timer?

Marc Lehmann schmorp at
Fri Dec 19 17:19:58 CET 2008

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 06:12:51AM +0000, James Mansion <james at> wrote:
> That's not necessarily true.  Just have a signal byte at a known offset  

First of all, please do other people a favour and don't send such horribly
misformatted messages like yours. Remember that other people might want
to read your e-mails, and making it needlessly hard for them is just

> and require it to be 0 to
> do the initialisation, and the initialisationn will change the signal.  

You are arguing in circles - requiring it to be zero means it needs ot be
*initialised* first.

So your argument boils down to: to avoid having to initialise the watcher
seperately, you need to initialise it first.

But that's exactly what the intialise function is for.

> This is low overhead on users and runtime - but it IS an API change.  To
> say its not possible in general is wrong, though.

It is also stupid - it would require *two* initialisation functions, one
that sets that magic byte to zero, and one that, well, initialiases the
rest of the structure.

All you would gain would be more complexity.

> And, to be honest, having an *optional*check that looks in memory and
> says 'if it looks initialised, then it IS in itialised' and accepts a
> probabilistic false positive, is also cheap and unlikely

Unfortunately, such a check is not possible in C.

In addition, it would be stupid - looking at some structure to see if it
*might* be valid is the worst ting you can do (as opposed to looking at a
structure to see if it *is* invalid, which is what libev does).

> to be a problem in reality while catching a class of bug.  (Though, you  
> might want to increase
> the size of the structure slightly to have a magic flag  - 64 bits or so  
> perhaps).

Remember that this magic byte thing also requires another deinitialisation
function that makes that memory reusable again, which you *need* to call
before freeing the memory, so again, you would lose considerably.

                The choice of a       Deliantra, the free code+content MORPG
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