Thursday, June 24, 2010

Squashed a seg fault related to modifications of event handler list made from within an event handler.

On receiving a message, we iterate through our list of registered event handlers to see which callbacks to fire. If a message matches a callback, then it fires that callback. However, if a callback for an event handler affects the list of registered event handlers (eg through addition of handler or removal), elements in list of event handler I was iterating over became invalid, causing a seg fault.

All additions and removals of event handlers take effect *after* we've tried matching a message against all registered event handlers. All addition and removal changes to event handler list are queued, and applied at end of iterating over list. (Order: first apply all additions, then apply all removes.)
Note: this does not affect suspend and resume of event handlers. An event handler can be suspended or resumed from within a handler.

We could have also immediately added and removed handlers, rather than queueing operations for end. However, it seemed that reasoning about what a program would actually do became very difficult. For instance, users would have to know what order handlers executed in to determine what the results of a program would actually be.


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