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Get user input without pausing *everything*


I am attempting to write my own operating system.  So far everything is going perfectly fine, except for this extremely annoying issue I am having.  (I am not writing my own core libraries, I copied those from the OpenOS files on GitHub)  For my Shell, I would like tasks running in the background to be able to print to the screen without messing up the user input prompt.  My attempt at doing this:

local Shell = {}

Shell.ShellBacklog = {{Type = "print", Text = "- Init Shell -"}} -- {Type = "print", Text = " "}

Shell.promptOpen = false

Shell.prompt = ">>> "
Shell.history = {}

Shell.step = function()
	if (#Shell.ShellBacklog > 0) and (not Shell.promptOpen) then
			local p = Shell.ShellBacklog[1]
			if (p.Type == "print") then
			table.remove(Shell.ShellBacklog, 1)
		until (#Shell.ShellBacklog == 0) or (Shell.promptOpen)

Shell.keyDownEventListener = function(event, address, key, code, plr)
	if (Shell.promptOpen) then return end
	Shell.promptOpen = true
	local strIn = term.read(Shell.history):gsub("\n", "")
	table.insert(Shell.ShellBacklog, {Type = "print", Text = strIn})
	Shell.promptOpen = false

Shell.start = function()
	event.listen("key_down", Shell.keyDownEventListener)

Shell.print = function(...)
	table.insert(Shell.ShellBacklog, {Type = "print", Text = ...})

The step function is called in the main loop.  My issue is that term.read() pauses everything, including the main loop.  Is there any way around this?  I attempted to use coroutines, but could not get them to function correctly.

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2 answers to this question

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Nevermind!  It appears that other Lua variants handle concurrent tasks differently than OC Lua.  For anybody who is interested, you can use the following to run a function repeatedly even while event.pull() is holding up the thread:

event.timer(0.05, function() print("stuff") , math.huge)
  --interval between runs, callback function, number of times to be run


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