Okay so i'm trying to make a chat application using sockets, and i want them both to be able to write and read simultaneously. So i did some research and found that I/O multiplexing like select() will fix this problem. But I still have one problem. After I compile it and run it, one of the two programs doesn't receive the message 'till after one responds. So for example, the server sends a message to the client right? Then the client won't see the message until AFTER the client responds. Below you can find an example of this as well as the source code.

Client: hi

Server: hello

Client said "hi"

And the same for client etc

//SERVER
    #include <sys/types.h>
    #include <sys/socket.h>
    #include <netinet/in.h>
    #include <arpa/inet.h>
    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <unistd.h>
    #include <errno.h>
    #include <string.h>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <sys/select.h>//use select() for multiplexing
    #include <sys/fcntl.h> // for non-blocking

    #define MAX_LENGTH 1024

    /* Select() params
     * int select(int n, fd_set *readfds, fd_set *writefds, fd_set *exceptfds, struct timeval *timeout);
     * FD_SET(int fd, fd_set *set);
     * FD_CLR(int fd, fd_set *set);
     * FD_ISSET(int fd, fd_set *set);
     * FD_ZERO(fd_set *set);
    */

    void error(char *message)
    {
        perror(message);
        exit(1);
    }

    int main()
    {
      fd_set original_socket;
      fd_set original_stdin;
      fd_set readfds;
      fd_set writefds;
      struct timeval tv;
      int numfd;

      int socket_fd, bytes_read;
      unsigned int address_length;
      char recieve_data[MAX_LENGTH],send_data[MAX_LENGTH];
      struct sockaddr_in server_address , client_address;

      if ((socket_fd = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, 0)) == -1) 
      {
          error("socket()");
      }

      int flags = fcntl(socket_fd, F_GETFL);
      flags |= O_NONBLOCK;
      fcntl(socket_fd, F_SETFL, flags);
      //fcntl(socket_fd, F_SETFL, O_NONBLOCK); //set socket to non-blocking

      // clear the set ahead of time
      FD_ZERO(&original_socket);
      FD_ZERO(&original_stdin);
      FD_ZERO(&readfds);
      FD_ZERO(&writefds);

      // add our descriptors to the set (0 - stands for STDIN)
      FD_SET(socket_fd, &original_socket);//instead of 0 put socket_fd
      FD_SET(socket_fd, &readfds);
      FD_SET(0,&original_stdin);
      FD_SET(0, &writefds);

      // since we got s2 second, it's the "greater", so we use that for
      // the n param in select()
      numfd = socket_fd + 1;

      // wait until either socket has data ready to be recv()d (timeout 10.5 secs)
      tv.tv_sec = 10;
      tv.tv_usec = 500000;

      server_address.sin_family = AF_INET;
      server_address.sin_port = htons(5000);
      server_address.sin_addr.s_addr = INADDR_ANY;
      bzero(&(server_address.sin_zero),8);


      if (bind(socket_fd,(struct sockaddr *)&server_address, sizeof(struct sockaddr)) == -1)
      {
          error("bind()");
      }

      address_length = sizeof(struct sockaddr);

      printf("\nUDP_Server Waiting for client to respond...\n");
      fflush(stdout);
      printf("Type (q or Q) at anytime to quit\n");

      while (1)
      {
        readfds = original_socket;
        writefds = original_stdin;//problem
        int recieve = select(numfd, &readfds, &writefds,/*NULL,*/ NULL, &tv);

        if (recieve == -1) 
        {
          perror("select"); // error occurred in select()
        } 
        else if (recieve == 0) 
        {
          printf("Timeout occurred!  No data after 10.5 seconds.\n");
        } 
        else 
        {
            // one or both of the descriptors have data
            if (FD_ISSET(socket_fd, &readfds)) //if set to read
            { 
              FD_CLR(socket_fd, &readfds);
              bytes_read = recvfrom(socket_fd,recieve_data,MAX_LENGTH,0,(struct sockaddr *)&client_address, &address_length); //block call, will wait till client enters something, before proceeding
              recieve_data[bytes_read] = '\0'; //add null to the end of the buffer

              if((strcmp(recieve_data , "q") == 0) || (strcmp(recieve_data , "Q") == 0)) { //if client quit, then quit also
                printf("\nClient has exited the chat.\n");
                break;
              }

              printf("\n(%s , %d) said: %s\n",inet_ntoa(client_address.sin_addr),ntohs(client_address.sin_port),recieve_data);
            }
            else if (FD_ISSET(/*socket_fd*/0, &writefds)) //if set to write
            //else
            {
              FD_CLR(0, &writefds);
              printf("SERVER: ");
              fgets (send_data, MAX_LENGTH, stdin); //input the name with a size limit of MAX_LENGTH

              if ((strlen(send_data)>0) && (send_data[strlen (send_data) - 1] == '\n')) //if there is a trailing \n, remove it
              {
                send_data[strlen (send_data) - 1] = '\0';
              }

              if ((strcmp(send_data , "q") == 0) || (strcmp(send_data , "Q") == 0)) { //if user enters q, then quit
                sendto(socket_fd,send_data,strlen(send_data),0,(struct sockaddr *)&client_address, sizeof(struct sockaddr));
                break;
              }
              sendto(socket_fd,send_data,strlen(send_data),0,(struct sockaddr *)&client_address, sizeof(struct sockaddr));
              fflush(stdout);
            }
            else printf("\nOOPS! What happened? SERVER");
        } //end else
      }//end while

      close (socket_fd);
      return 0;
    }

At first I thought it was a trailing newline, but I took care of that possibility already by changing the '/n' to '/0' if it exists. I really don't understand why this is happening!

//CLIENT
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/socket.h>
#include <netinet/in.h>
#include <arpa/inet.h>
#include <netdb.h> //host struct
#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <errno.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/select.h>//use select() for multiplexing
#include <sys/fcntl.h> // for non-blocking

#define MAX_LENGTH 1024
#define HOST "localhost" //127.0.0.1

void error(char *message)
{
    perror(message);
    exit(1);
}

int main()
{
  fd_set original_socket;
  fd_set original_stdin;
  fd_set readfds;
  fd_set writefds;
  struct timeval tv;
  int numfd;

  int socket_fd,bytes_recieved;
  unsigned int address_length;
  struct sockaddr_in server_address;
  struct hostent *host;
  char send_data[MAX_LENGTH],recieve_data[MAX_LENGTH];

  host = (struct hostent *) gethostbyname((char *)HOST);//127.0.0.1

  if ((socket_fd = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, 0)) == -1)
  {
    error("socket()");
  }

  int flags = fcntl(socket_fd, F_GETFL);
  flags |= O_NONBLOCK;
  fcntl(socket_fd, F_SETFL, flags);
  //fcntl(socket_fd, F_SETFL, O_NONBLOCK); //set socket to non-blocking

  // clear the set ahead of time
  FD_ZERO(&original_socket);
  FD_ZERO(&original_stdin);
  FD_ZERO(&readfds);
  FD_ZERO(&writefds);

  // add our descriptors to the set (0 - stands for STDIN)
  FD_SET(socket_fd, &original_socket);//instead of 0 put socket_fd
  FD_SET(socket_fd, &readfds);
  FD_SET(0,&original_stdin);
  FD_SET(0, &writefds);

  // since we got s2 second, it's the "greater", so we use that for
  // the n param in select()
  numfd = socket_fd + 1;

  // wait until either socket has data ready to be recv()d (timeout 10.5 secs)
  tv.tv_sec = 10;
  tv.tv_usec = 500000;

  server_address.sin_family = AF_INET;
  server_address.sin_port = htons(5000);
  server_address.sin_addr = *((struct in_addr *)host->h_addr);
  bzero(&(server_address.sin_zero),8);

  address_length = sizeof(struct sockaddr);
  printf("Type (q or Q) at anytime to quit\n");

  while (1)
  {
    readfds = original_socket;
    writefds = original_stdin;//problem

    int recieve = select(numfd, &readfds, /*NULL*/&writefds, NULL, &tv);
    if (recieve == -1) 
    {
      perror("select"); // error occurred in select()
    } 
    else if (recieve == 0) 
    {
      printf("Timeout occurred!  No data after 10.5 seconds.\n");
    } 
    else 
    {
      // one or both of the descriptors have data
      if (FD_ISSET(socket_fd, &readfds)) //if set to read
      {
        FD_CLR(socket_fd, &readfds);//clear the set
        bytes_recieved = recvfrom(socket_fd,recieve_data, sizeof(recieve_data),0,(struct sockaddr *)&server_address,&address_length);
        recieve_data[bytes_recieved]= '\0';

        if((strcmp(recieve_data , "q") == 0) || (strcmp(recieve_data , "Q") == 0)) //if client quit, then quit also
        { 
          printf("\nServer has exited the chat.\n");
          break;
        }

        printf("\n(%s , %d) said: %s\n",inet_ntoa(server_address.sin_addr),ntohs(server_address.sin_port),recieve_data);
        //inet_ntoa returns an ip address ipv4 style, ex: 127.0.0.1, and ntohs returns the port in the converted byte ordering
      }

      else if (FD_ISSET(0/*socket_fd*/, &writefds)) //if set to write
      //else
      {
        FD_CLR(0, &writefds);
        printf("ClIENT: ");
        fgets (send_data, MAX_LENGTH, stdin);

        if ((strlen(send_data)>0) && (send_data[strlen (send_data) - 1] == '\n')) //remove trailing newline, if exists
        { 
           send_data[strlen (send_data) - 1] = '\0';
        }

        if ((strcmp(send_data , "q") == 0) || strcmp(send_data , "Q") == 0) //if user quits, then send an invisible message to server to quit also
        { 
          sendto(socket_fd, send_data, strlen(send_data), 0, (struct sockaddr *)&server_address, sizeof(struct sockaddr));
          break;
        }

        else 
        {
          sendto(socket_fd, send_data, strlen(send_data), 0, (struct sockaddr *)&server_address, sizeof(struct sockaddr));
        }

      }
       else printf("\nOOPS! What happened? CLIENT");
    } //end else
  } // end while

  close (socket_fd);
}

From the Linux select() manpage:

"Those listed in readfds will be watched to see if characters become available for reading (more precisely, to see if a read will not block; in particular, a file descriptor is also ready on end-of-file)."

This has bit me in the past (and recently as well). The only solution is to do a non-blocking read to see if you really get some data.

Anyway, asking people to analyize almost 300 lines of code is not really useful - there is too much to miss unless one has a LOT of time to spend on reviewing it in detail. :-)

I used this: fcntl(socket_fd, F_SETFL, O_NONBLOCK) to set the socket to non blocking. Is that what you meant by no-blocking read? And sorry about that, but i don't know exactly where the problem lies or around where, so i cant show code snippets :(

This article has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.