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Re: Thread safety clarification

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Benjamin covered the rest of your e-mail (in terms of asking for more
information ;-).

> According to the FAQ in CVS, you cannot assume that two separate threads 
> can simultaneously read from a STL container class at once; however, 
> according to the containers howto (23_containers/howto.html) and the SGI 
> multithreading document (http://www.sgi.com/tech/stl/thread_safety.html) 
> both say this is acceptable behavior.  Which goes - is the lack of 
> thread-safety on container read an issue with libstdc++, and if so, what 
> is the actual issue (as perhaps I can work on it)

For STL components, IMHO 23_containers/howto.html and SGI documents
(excluding any configuration information given there) override
anything you may have found elsewhere.

In particular, the concrete example in faq/index.html (5.6 Is
libstdc++-v3 thread-safe?) explicitly involves mutating a shared
object and is not really the same thing you ask about.  Since we are
talking about the entire library, we must be conservative in the
explanation of the design rules.  However, I do agree that the
follow-up text needs some additional clarification to avoid being
overly conservative:

      [...] This requirement includes both read and write access to
         objects; do not assume that two threads may read a shared
         standard container at the same time.

How about the following text?

     [...] In general, this requirement includes both read and write
         access to objects; unless otherwise documented as safe, do
         not assume that two threads may access a shared standard
         library object at the same time.

This change works by generalizing the word choice to ``standard
library object'' from ``standard container'' while making it clear
that there are exceptions.  When one does more detailed study in the
23_containers/howto.html, one will see that readonly access is
well-defined on the standard containers in some conditions (i.e. a
documented exception to the general rule).

Regards,
Loren


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