Why Spawnl() function used?

DOS is a single tasking operating system, thus only one program runs at a time. The Spawnl( ) function provides us with the capability of starting the execution of one program from within another program. The first program is called the parent process and the second program that gets called from within the first program is called a child process. Once the second program starts execution, the first is put on hold until the second program completes execution. The first program is then restarted. The following program demonstrates use of spawnl( ) function.


/* Mult.c */
int main ( int argc, char* argv[ ] )
{
int a[3], i, ret ;
if ( argc < 3 || argc > 3 )
{
printf ( "Too many or Too few arguments..." ) ;
exit ( 0 ) ;
}
for ( i = 1 ; i < argc ; i++ )
a[i] = atoi ( argv[i] ) ;
ret = a[1] * a[2] ;
return ret ;
}
/* Spawn.c */

#include
main( )
{
int val ;
val = spawnl ( P_WAIT, "C:\\Mult.exe", "3", "10",
"20", NULL ) ;
printf ( "\nReturned value is: %d", val ) ;
}

Here, there are two programs. The program 'Mult.exe' works as a child process whereas 'Spawn.exe' works as a parent process. On execution of 'Spawn.exe' it invokes 'Mult.exe' and passes the command-line arguments to it.'Mult.exe' in turn on execution, calculates the product of 10 and 20 and returns the value to val in 'Spawn.exe'. In our call to spawnl( ) function, we have passed 6 parameters, P_WAIT as the mode of execution, path of '.exe' file to run as child process, total number of arguments to be passed to the child process, list of command line arguments and NULL. P_WAIT will cause our application to freeze execution until the child process has completed its execution.This parameter needs to be passed as the default parameter if you are working under DOS. under other operating systems that support multitasking, this parameter can be P_NOWAIT or P_OVERLAY. P_NOWAIT will cause the parent process to execute along with the child process, P_OVERLAY will load the child process on top of the parent process in the memory.

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