Beej’s Guide to Network Programming Using Internet Sockets by Brian “Beej Jorgensen” Hall

By Brian “Beej Jorgensen” Hall

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So what is this struct hostent that gets returned? It has a number of fields that contain information about the host in question. char *h_name The real canonical host name. char **h_aliases A list of aliases that can be accessed with arrays–the last element is NULL int h_addrtype The result’s address type, which really should be AF_INET for our purposes.. int length The length of the addresses in bytes, which is 4 for IP (version 4) addresses. char **h_addr_list A list of IP addresses for this host.

The parameter numfds should be set to the values of the highest file descriptor plus one. In this example, it should be set to sockfd+1, since it is assuredly higher than standard input (0). When select() returns, readfds will be modified to reflect which of the file descriptors you selected which is ready for reading. You can test them with the macro FD_ISSET(), below. Before progressing much further, I’ll talk about how to manipulate these sets. Each set is of the type fd_set. The following macros operate on this type: • • • • FD_ZERO(fd_set *set) – clears a file descriptor set FD_SET(int fd, fd_set *set) – adds fd to the set FD_CLR(int fd, fd_set *set) – removes fd from the set FD_ISSET(int fd, fd_set *set) – tests to see if fd is in the set Finally, what is this weirded out struct timeval?

When it is, it means I have a new connection pending, and I accept() it and add it to the master set. Similarly, when a client connection is ready to read, and recv() returns 0, I know the client has closed the connection, and I must remove it from the master set. If the client recv() returns non-zero, though, I know some data has been received. So I get it, and then go through the master list and send that data to all the rest of the connected clients. And that, my friends, is a less-than-simple overview of the almighty select() function.

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