[dev] [ dev ] [ st ] [ PATCH ] concurrency window size bug

From: Kyryl Melekhin <k.melekhin_AT_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2020 15:05:49 -0400

This bug is very exceptional and will only affect users who run other
terminal programs with st.
For example running
" st -e vim . "
" st -e lynx "
etc ...

The bug happens randomly, and on some systems may not even exist, very
hard to reproduce and predict. On my system with clean st build
changes are 50/50. Race condition depends heavily on timing. The
problem lies in usage of fork() function inside ttynew() function.
Basically what will happen is that the child program has a chance of
getting wrong window dimensions assigned, and if that program is vim
or lynx it will permanently mess up every single character in the
program and rendering, If you can't reproduce the bug right now, just
put usleep between

(x.c 1890):
ttyfd = ttynew(opt_line, shell, opt_io, opt_cmd);

usleep doc: usec is greater than or equal to 1000000. (On systems where
              that is considered an error.)
/* Add this; value must not error, print Success */
fprintf(stderr, "%s\n", strerror(usleep(999999)));
cresize(w, h);

that should make it 100% consistent. Also use monocle layout in dwm to
see better. I think this bug happens only if the child process starts
to execute its own window dimensions code before st's calls cresize(w,
That is why the sleep function makes the bug consistent.
I propose a solution to this that worked for me:

diff --git a/x.c b/x.c
index 210f184..fb80366 100644
--- a/x.c
+++ b/x.c
_AT_@ -1887,6 +1887,7 @@ run(void)
        } while (ev.type != MapNotify);

+ cresize(w, h);
        ttyfd = ttynew(opt_line, shell, opt_io, opt_cmd);
        cresize(w, h);

Calling cresize before fork() ensures that the child starts with
correct dimensions already set (since it inherits).
For me this has reduced the chance of bug to 0%. However for some
reasons I may not know if you still keep that
usleep call there, things yet again go south. But on the other side,
if this fix helped me to never ever experience
the rendering corruption again, I think this is a worthy patch as it
does not happen on hotpath of the program anyway.
Received on Fri Jun 05 2020 - 21:05:49 CEST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Jun 05 2020 - 21:12:08 CEST