realtime design

Will Stuyvesant hwlgw at
Mon Oct 14 16:29:20 CEST 2002

After spending a day on trying to find a solution using threads, I
found out there is probably none.  Argh!

The problem:
I am trying to come up with a method to run a function in such a way
that the whole thing will take at most x milliseconds, with x a
reasonable value like 200.  If the function is not finished by that
time, a default value should be used.  If the function *does* finish
in time, the return value of the function should be used.  The main 
point is that the calling program should be able to continue with 
the next statement after x milliseconds.  And it would be nice if 
the called function is interrupted or something if it has not 
finished, so it will not eat CPU resources.

But I found this:

From: Tim Peters ( at
Subject: RE: embedded python - cancel "while 1: pass" 
Newsgroups: comp.lang.python
Date: 2001-01-08 00:07:17 PST 
    Java's thread .stop(), .resume(), and .suspend() methods were all
    deprecated, because they proved to be "inherently unsafe" in
    practice.  This isn't real surprising: a thread is cheaper than an
    OS process largely because the runtime *doesn't* save enough info
    to clean up a thread safely, short of the death of the process 
    it's running in.  

Aha!  So what I am trying to do is basically impossible with threads! 
I guess some people have been here before.  Anyway, thank you Tim
Peters.   There should be a collection with Tim Peters' c.l.p.
postings you can search on subject.  His postings have been useful for
me before!  I found this one using google groups search.

What I am going to look into is how to write a function that will
start the target function in another *process* in Windows, and use a
default value if the process does not finish in time.
Any ideas?

and-now-I-am-thinking-about-how-to-kill-a-Windows-process-ly y'rs

Multithreading will rot your teeth.
                -- Michael Swaine

More information about the Python-list mailing list