Serial port programming

Hey all –

I’m trying to find what seems to be the holy grail of Ruby
programmers: a portable platform-neutral way to access serial ports.
As you’d expect Windows is the most vexing platform to deal with.

I thought I could get away with something like the following under
Cygwin (note the default string for opening a Windows serial port).
I’m perfectly happy with opening a port and kicking off a thread to
keep reading data into a buffer every few milliseconds:

def initialize(filename = “COM1:9600,8,N,1”)
# die horribly if we can’t open file for read/write/append

@mon = Monitor.new
@buf = ""
# kick off our collector thread
@collector = Thread.new(filename) do |fname|
  begin

if (! (@hdl = open(filename, “w+”)))
raise “Cannot open for IO”
end

loop do
if (select([@hdl],nil,nil,0.01))
if newchars = @hdl.read
@mon.synchronize do
if (0 < newchars.length) then
# stick new data into a buffer, let the read method
of the instance read the buffer instead
@buf << newchars
newchars = nil
end
end
end
end
end
rescue
$stderr.print "#{filename}: IO failed: " + $!
return
end
@hdl.close
end

# needed for Cygwin at least
@collector.wakeup if (@collector && @collector.alive?)

end


The big problem is that even though the select call returns with a
return value indicating that data is waiting, the read call hangs.
Using Fcntl to set the IO instance to use non-blocking IO solves
nothing.

Am I stuck with using the ruby-serialport extension? (And why isn’t it
a gem by now anyway? Grr…)

Thanks in advance,
– Dan

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