Lab #7: Event Flags
This lab is the final phase in the development of your YAK kernel.
You are to add functions that create, pend on, set, and reset event
flags so that you can correctly execute the application program lab7app.c without modification. You will also
need the file lab7defs.h. You are expected
to complete this lab with a partner.
You must add the following functions to your kernel. You should
implement each function exactly according to the prototype given on
the YAK Kernel webpage. Refer to that web
page for additional details about these functions.
- YKEventCreate - Create and initialize an event flag
- YKEventPend - Cause calling task to block until a
combination of event flag bits occurs
- YKEventSet - Set event flag bits (change to 1)
- YKEventReset - Clear event flag bits (change to 0)
For this lab you will also need to change your tick and keyboard
interrupt handlers. For the tick handler, you need not generate any
output -- this makes your output much easier to read. You should
replace the contents of your keyboard handler with the contents of
sample function shown below.
You will also need to #include the header file lab7defs.h above your keyboard handler. This
keyboard handler, in combination with the application code, will allow
you to test the ability of your kernel to unblock one or multiple tasks
in response to different events. Study the application code and
keyboard handler carefully so that you understand what should happen
when keys are pressed.
c = KeyBuffer;
if(c == 'a') YKEventSet(charEvent, EVENT_A_KEY);
else if(c == 'b') YKEventSet(charEvent, EVENT_B_KEY);
else if(c == 'c') YKEventSet(charEvent, EVENT_C_KEY);
else if(c == 'd') YKEventSet(charEvent, EVENT_A_KEY | EVENT_B_KEY | EVENT_C_KEY);
else if(c == '1') YKEventSet(numEvent, EVENT_1_KEY);
else if(c == '2') YKEventSet(numEvent, EVENT_2_KEY);
else if(c == '3') YKEventSet(numEvent, EVENT_3_KEY);
print("\nKEYPRESS (", 11);
print(") IGNORED\n", 10);
Implement the required functions and make sure that the application
program runs correctly. As usual, the system should not crash when key
presses occur in rapid succession, even with the timer tick frequency
increased to 750 instructions per tick. For full credit, your
application code must run correctly at this high tick rate, including
the generation of all output for any combination of keypresses.
The behavior of the code depends on which keys are pressed. To verify
that your kernel is running correctly, check the following
If other keys are pressed, the usual "KEYPRESS (X)
IGNORED" should be displayed. No other text or error messages
should be displayed.
When the kernel runs the application code correctly, show and demonstrate your
code to a TA. Since you must demonstrate working code to a TA on or before the due date, please
consider their lab schedule well in advance.
In addition to the demonstration, you must a written summary of
problems you encountered, if any, in completing this lab. You should
also include a report of the number of hours you spent on the lab,
including coding and debugging. A realistic estimate is
sufficient. Send a submission even if you didn't encounter any
noteworthy bugs along the way. You will not receive full credit for
the lab unless you send a report.
New for Fall 2019: we want both your report and your
source code for the lab. The easiest way to do this is to create a
report file (for consistency call it report.txt or report.pdf), to add
it to the working directory for the lab, to create a compressed tar
file (with all the files in your directory), and then to upload that
file to Learning Suite.
To review, if 425/labx is your working directory for this lab, type
the following in the 425 directory:
and then upload the resulting compressed tar file (submission.tar.gz)
to Learning Suite.
tar -cvzf submission.tar.gz labx
- RTOS Differences. Each RTOS handles event flags
differently. Our YAK event functions are different from the event
functions used by the AMX RTOS described in our text and they are
different from those in uC/OS. One key difference is that our kernel
only allows a task to block until events are set (become 1). Some
other kernels, such as AMX, allow you to block until events are set or
reset (become 1 or 0). However, even with our more limited features,
the same functionality can be achieved, using additional event flags
- Differences from the previous two labs. In the previous two
labs you only had to worry about unblocking one task when a pend or
post function was called. In this lab, however, you may have to
unblock several tasks at once. Make sure that all tasks become ready
when they should and that they run in priority order. Fortunately, in
our kernel, tasks can only be made ready in response to events when
YKEventSet is called. Also keep in mind that any number of tasks can
be blocked waiting for different conditions on the same event flags
group. This means that the kernel must save information that says
which event group and which flags each task is waiting for as well as
which wait mode it is using. The TCB is a natural place to do this.
- Pacing yourself. Here is a statistical summary of hours
reported per team to complete this lab in Fall 2017:
- Low: 0.5 hours
- High: 6.0 hours
- Average: 3.9 hours
Here are comments from student reports describing their problems on
this lab and how they tracked them down. As always, take them with a
grain of salt.
- After moving a task from the blocked list for an event group to
the ready list, I would use the next pointer in the TCB I had moved in
order to go to the next blocked task and check if that task also
needed to be unblocked. Because I checked after the TCB had
been moved to the ready list, the next pointer was actually pointing
to the next task in my ready list instead of the next task blocked on
the event group. To fix it, I needed a temporary TCB pointer that
would be set to the next blocked task's TCB before I removed
the TCB from the blocked list.
- The logic that checked whether the event conditions were met for a
given task wasn't quite right. I needed to be more careful in writing
- We made a quick mistake on how test for the any event
condition. We didn't consider that when returning event group it had
to be latest copy (we were storing it in our TCB array and then
calling schedular which would result in an old value). We
accidentally deleted an important line of code in YKEventCreate when
fixing the above problem so that it actually returned a null pointer
and caused crazy things to happen.
- The only problems we encountered involved masking the event
incorrectly (we had an & instead of an |) and we didn't loop through
our tasks correctly when blocking/unblocking.
- I did not manage the pointers to the
TCBs in the event pend list correctly at first. You must save a
pointer to the next TCB in the list before moving a TCB to the ready
- The only problem we had in this lab was when a event was set, and
tasks became unblocked, we would set the return value at this moment
(when we moved it from the suspend list to the ready list). However,
this would return the wrong value. We needed to return the value when
the task was RUN, not changed to the ready list.
- One main problem is that we were waking up tasks or making them
ready for other events that wern't even being tested. We had to make
sure we were only checking tasks who were actually waiting for the
event. We also were checking set event value against the mask value
passed in instead of the actual value from the event. Once we fixed
these it was pretty straightforward.
- We had lots of compilation errors. This was partly because we
#included "lab7defs.h" in above #include "yakk.h" in our myinth.c
- In our YKEventSet function, we were checking that a task was
pending on an event, but we were not checking if it belonged to the
event passed into the function. This caused the AllCharsTask to print
when all three number keys were pressed and vice versa. It also
caused the number key events to behave incorrectly.
- The main problem that we had stemmed from the YKEventSet
function. We had three bugs in the function. First, we didn't call
the scheduler even though a new task was made ready. This wasn't a
big bug, and it seemed to work even without calling the scheduler.
Second, we were checking the wrong bits in the event for a task when
waitMode = EVENT_WAIT_ALL. We were checking only the mask, which only
has one bit set at a time unless 'd' is pressed. We fixed that by
checking to make sure the actual event value matched the value we were
waiting on in the task. The third problem was the trickiest. When we
were inserting our tasks back into the ready list, we weren't updating
our blocked list correctly. Because of this, our blocked list pointer
ended up pointing to the ready list, and we could never take more than
1 task off of the blocked list. As a result, everything worked except
when we pressed 'd', the 'AllCharsTask' didn't print out. It never
got removed from our blocked list. It took us a while to connect the
symptom to the problem, but one minor change fixed the problem once we
realized what it was.
- Our major problem was that we did not understand the lab and had
trouble understanding exactly how the events should work. Once we
figured out that, it was apparent that certain information had to be
saved externally when YKEventPend is called. When we saved the
waitMode and mask in the TCB of each task that had been associated
with an event group, things worked as they should.
- YKEventSet and YKEventPend are the two bulk functions to write in
this lab. Once we realized that YKEventPend didn't have to look for
events that had already occured, it made the function very simple.
This meant that all the logic in blocking and unblocking tasks occurs
in YKEventSet. We had 2 bugs. Bug number 1 was we didn't return the
flags, so the events were never cleared. Bug number 2 was how we
calculated the check for any_event. It needed an initialized
- The only problems we encountered were with syntax errors. When
doing #define, we did #define var = 0; instead of #define var 0.
This was our only major problem, and it took us about 20 minutes trying to find it.
- We had several bugs in our code. The main problem was our pointer
logic. We would get caught into an infinite loop when searching
through our blocked list because the pointers never got to the end of
the list. We also had a lot of trouble getting the right return value
to the task code.
Last updated 26 August 2019