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OpenDarwin 7.2.1 - man page for tcl_detachpids (opendarwin section 3)

Tcl_DetachPids(3)		      Tcl Library Procedures			Tcl_DetachPids(3)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

NAME
       Tcl_DetachPids, Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs, Tcl_WaitPid - manage child processes in background

SYNOPSIS
       #include <tcl.h>

       Tcl_DetachPids(numPids, pidPtr)

       Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs()

       Tcl_Pid
       Tcl_WaitPid(pid, statPtr, options)

ARGUMENTS
       int   numPids	  (in)	    Number  of	process  ids contained in the array pointed to by
				    pidPtr.

       int   *pidPtr	  (in)	    Address of array containing numPids process ids.

       Tcl_Pid		  pid(in)   The id of the process (pipe) to wait for.

       int*  statPtr	  (out)     The result of waiting  on  a  process  (pipe).  Either  0  or
				    ECHILD.

       int   options		    The  options  controlling  the wait. WNOHANG specifies not to
				    wait when checking the process.
_________________________________________________________________

DESCRIPTION
       Tcl_DetachPids and Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs provide a  mechanism  for  managing  subprocesses
       that  are  running  in  background.   These  procedures are needed because the parent of a
       process must eventually invoke the waitpid kernel call (or one of a few other similar ker-
       nel  calls)  to	wait  for  the	child to exit.	Until the parent waits for the child, the
       child's state cannot be completely reclaimed by the system.  If a parent continually  cre-
       ates  children  and doesn't wait on them, the system's process table will eventually over-
       flow, even if all the children have exited.

       Tcl_DetachPids may be called to ask Tcl to take responsibility for one or  more	processes
       whose  process  ids are contained in the pidPtr array passed as argument.  The caller pre-
       sumably has started these processes running in background and doesn't want to have to deal
       with them again.

       Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs  invokes the waitpid kernel call on each of the background processes
       so that its state can be cleaned up if it has exited.  If the process hasn't  exited  yet,
       Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs  doesn't  wait for it to exit;  it will check again the next time it
       is invoked.  Tcl automatically calls Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs each time the exec  command  is
       executed,  so  in  most	cases  it  isn't  necessary for any code outside of Tcl to invoke
       Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs.  However, if you call Tcl_DetachPids in situations where	the  exec
       command	may  never  get executed, you may wish to call Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs from time to
       time so that background processes can be cleaned up.

       Tcl_WaitPid is a thin wrapper around the facilities provided by the  operating  system  to
       wait  on the end of a spawned process and to check a whether spawned process is still run-
       ning. It is used by Tcl_ReapDetachedProcs and the channel system to  portably  access  the
       operating system.

KEYWORDS
       background, child, detach, process, wait

Tcl										Tcl_DetachPids(3)


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