cURL libcurl API libcurl
curl_multi_fdset.3 -- man page
This function extracts file descriptor information from a given multi_handle. libcurl returns its fd_set sets. The application can use these to select() on, but be sure to FD_ZERO them before calling this function as curl_multi_fdset only adds its own descriptors, it doesn't zero or otherwise remove any others. The curl_multi_perform function should be called as soon as one of them is ready to be read from or written to.
If no file descriptors are set by libcurl, max_fd will contain -1 when this function returns. Otherwise it will contain the higher descriptor number libcurl set. When libcurl returns -1 in max_fd, it is because libcurl currently does something that isn't possible for your application to monitor with a socket and unfortunately you can then not know exactly when the current action is completed using select(). When max_fd returns with -1, you need to wait a while and then proceed and call curl_multi_perform anyway. How long to wait? I would suggest 100 milliseconds at least, but you may want to test it out in your own particular conditions to find a suitable value.
When doing select(), you should use curl_multi_timeout to figure out how long to wait for action. Call curl_multi_perform even if no activity has been seen on the fd_sets after the timeout expires as otherwise internal retries and timeouts may not work as you'd think and want.
If one of the sockets used by libcurl happens to be larger than what can be set in an fd_set, which on POSIX systems means that the file descriptor is larger than FD_SETSIZE, then libcurl will try to not set it. Setting a too large file descriptor in an fd_set implies an out of bounds write which can cause crashes, or worse. The effect of NOT storing it will possibly save you from the crash, but will make your program NOT wait for sockets it should wait for...
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Page updated June 22, 2014.
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