As stated above, you can send I/O requests to a device synchronously or asynchronously. The choice of which to use is largely a function of your application. Synchronous requests use the DoIO() function. DoIO() will not return control to your application until the I/O request has been satisfied by the device. The advantage of this is that you don't have to monitor the message port for the device reply because DoIO() takes care of all the message handling. The disadvantage is that your application will be tied up while the I/O request is being processed, and should the request not complete for some reason, DoIO() will not return and your application will hang. Asynchronous requests use the SendIO() and BeginIO() functions. Both return to your application almost immediately after you call them. This allows you to do other operations, including sending more I/O requests to the device. Note that any additional I/O requests you send must use separate I/O request structures. Outstanding I/O requests are not available for re-use until the device is finished with them. Do Not Touch! ------------- When you use SendIO() or BeginIO(), the I/O request you pass to the device and any associated data buffers should be considered read-only. Once you send it to the device, you must not modify it in any way until you receive the reply message from the device or abort the request. Sending multiple asynchronous I/O requests to a device can be tricky because devices require them to be unique and initialized. This means you can't use an I/O request that's still in the queue, but you need the fields which were initialized in it when you opened the device. The solution is to copy the initialized I/O request to another I/O request(s) before sending anything to the device. Regardless of what you do while you are waiting for an asynchronous I/O request to return, you need to have some mechanism for knowing when the request has been done. There are two basic methods for doing this. The first involves putting your application into a wait state until the device returns the I/O request to the message port of your application. You can use the WaitIO(), Wait() or WaitPort() function to wait for the return of the I/O request. It is important to note that all of the above functions and also DoIO() may Wait() on the message reply port's mp_SigBit. For this reason, the task that created the port must be the same task the waits for completion of the I/O. There are three ways to wait: * WaitIO() not only waits for the return of the I/O request, it also takes care of all the message handling functions. This is very convenient, but you can pay for this convenience: your application will hang if the I/O request does not return. * Wait() waits for a signal to be sent to the message port. It will awaken your task when the signal arrives, but you are responsible for all of the message handling. * WaitPort() waits for the message port to be non-empty. It returns a pointer to the message in the port, but you are responsible for all of the message handling. The second method to detect when the request is complete involves using the CheckIO() function. CheckIO() takes an I/O request as its argument and returns an indication of whether or not it has been completed. When CheckIO() returns the completed indication, you will still have to remove the I/O request from the message port.
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