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From: bill_kempf (williamkempf_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-02-12 14:19:39

--- In boost_at_y..., "Yitzhak Sapir" <ysapir_at_y...> wrote:
> It is hard for me to follow to what point you are in the discussion
> However, I wish there were some portable library that implemented a
> variety of atomic operations. Test and Set could be implemented in
> context of some hypothetical atomic_bitset<N>, or
> shared count as atomic_long, etc. atomic_long could also provide
> atomic exchanges (via swap specializations). In all these
> any O(machine word size) operation would be atomic. And all of
> could be implemented using compare-exchange instructions, which are
> available on quite a variety of multiprocessor CPU architectures.
> STLPort already provides an implementation of
> for Sparc machines (stlport/stl/_sparc_atomic.h) and many other CPUs
> which provide "compare and exchange" could also be made to work
> this framework. It would bridge the gap between the CPU-specific
> instructions and the general concept which is rather portable.
> I'm not sure if this was discussed already and considered too
> error-prone. But if not, and it's not to be considered error-
prone, it
> could be very useful for other purposes besides the current
> of smart pointers.

Yes, it was discussed, and *I* determined (against the wishes of
several) that it was too error prone. I felt that the operations
were only useful for generating synchronization primitives, which I'd
hoped to cover with the library, or for ref-counting. The ref-
counting usage would be safer implemented with a simple ref-count
concept then to expose all of the atomic operations where too many
novices misuse the operations.

Like I said, though, that decision is unpopular and I'll likely have
to re-think the decision at some point.

Bill Kempf

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