Re: Threads - When?

"Le Chaud Lapin" <>
5 Jan 2007 14:58:50 -0500
James Kanze wrote:

Le Chaud Lapin wrote:
You keep claiming this, but you've presented no evidence for it.
And of course, the fact that bad programmers can abuse a feature
has never stopped it from being adopted into C++.

There are things that I could argue about all day. This isn't one of
them. It is patently obvious (to me) the nature of FSM's, atomic
operations, etc. I fail to see where the mystery lies. What more needs
to be known? What is the committee looking for. And for the record, I
never said that threading was not to be used because it can be abused.
I use multi-threading each day, every day, and have been for about 7

For what it's worth, I don't know of anyone on the committee who
isn't aware of the additional complexities that threading
implies. On the other hand, there are many cases where it is
the appropriate solution, and some where it is the only
solution. Ignoring it effectively either bans C++ from such
applications, or forces programmers to depend on implementation
definitions of undefined behavior.

Great. multi-threading is good. I agree.

First, spin-locks, from a C++ programmers point of view, cannot be
implemented efficiently.

Who cares? As far as I know, there's no proposal to add
spin-locks to the language.

Then what is there to discuss? What is expected to be found? What is
the problem that is being addressed?


I think we agree that threading is hard, and threading issues
(who is responsible for what, etc.) must be addressed at the
design level.

Well, in my case, it is not hard any more. I want to make it clear
that I *never* expected any magic from C++ to help me in
multi-threading. I knew that any problems that I would have with
threading would be to

1. my own ignorance of the primitives available
2. deficiency in the primitive set
3. carelessness in the application of existing primitives.

Personally, I have fixed #1, at least enough that I have found closure
for big system design. I use most of the Windows synchronization
primitives except for atomic inter-locked exchange and friends and
fibers, which are not really threads. I also discovered, in my own
view, that #2 does not exist. The Windows team (old VMS guard) did a
great job here. As far as #3 goes, I got seriously burned twice, which
was enough. I am at the point now where, if it happens again, I go
into a mode of discipline to stop it. I haven't had any more problems

There is no silver bullet. Threading must be part of the high
level design.

In any language. Which is why I see little reason for tweakage of the

To reiterate, I do think it would be useful to ask:

1. Did the OS people provide closure in set of primitives offered?
2. Can we write a nice, clean library around those primitives.

Never of these tasks requires tweakage of C++ proper.

-Le Chaud Lapin-

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