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filesize of fifo

From: Daniel Heiserer
Subject: filesize of fifo
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 22:56:56 +0100

is there a function inside octave to find out
how large a file is, or how much data in a fifo is?

something like fsize(fid) or fsize('filename')?

I try to read from a fifo, but if the fifo is
empty octave's fread waits until something is in it.
I need a way to empty the fifo, which means
I read all the bytes which are in the fifo.
If there is nothing in, it mustn't block me.
If I try to read more bytes then are currently in
the fifo, octave blocks and waits
until he receives the necessary bytes.
If I leave out the number of bytes to read
he probably waits for ever. If I know how 
many bytes in the fifo are (as I can see when 
I know the filesize I can octave tell to read only
the specified size).

Is there a way to read/write to fifo's in a non-blocking
mode? Linux programmers manual mentions this feature,
but doesn't tell me how non-blocking fifo's can be 

Thanks daniel

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