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From: Yuval Ronen (ronen_yuval_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-10-30 18:43:51

Howard Hinnant wrote:
> On Oct 28, 2007, at 11:53 AM, Yuval Ronen wrote:
>> * Thread cancellation is new, and
>> disable_cancellation/restore_cancellation are even newer. They are new
>> for C++ programmers, and maybe new for *all* programmers (I never
>> heard
>> of a language with them). I'm not sure if it's a good idea to
>> standardize them before we get some real-life experience with thread
>> cancellation.
> Actually thread cancellation is old. Many (not all) thread API's
> have some form or another of cancellation. That being said, the
> compromise reached at the Kona meeting 4 weeks ago was to remove
> cancellation (or interruption) from the proposal. This removal is
> reflected in N2411.

I see.

>> * I see that you chose not go accept a mutex in condition's
>> constructor.
>> If that is so, why make the condition class templated, instead of only
>> the wait() functions, as is in Boost.Thread?
> There was an interim paper:
> which changed the way cv's were handled from N2320. In Kona this was
> folded into N2411, and also renamed along the way. The condition's
> constructor still does not take a mutex. There are now two condition
> variable classes, and neither is templated. The rationale for this
> design is in N2406.

I'll try to find some time soon to read it...

>> * If C++0x is going to have lambda support (is it?), then maybe the
>> not-accepting-predicate overloads of condition::wait are no longer
>> needed, and can be removed? I think the major reason why people use
>> that
>> overload is because they are too lazy to write a functor. With core
>> support for lambda, it's a breeze. This will solve the other problem
>> (mentioned in some other thread in this ML) about absolute vs.
>> relative
>> times.
> I would be very hesitant to force one programming style over
> another. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, one might really need an
> explicit loop (say to handle more complex flow control than just
> while (!pred) cv.wait(lk)).

Is there any known use case for that? The common practice, and as far as
I remember, it's also defined by POSIX, that *all* calls to wait must be
like while (!pred) cv.wait(), so there is no other way. Is it?

>> * Back then we had a discussion about unique_lock, which was never
>> finished. I claim that there is no need for a state where mutex() != 0
>> && owns() == false, which means that defer_lock is not needed.
>> There is
>> one example in the document using defer_lock, which I think can be
>> done
>> in another way. That example goes like:
>> Record&
>> Record::operator=(const Record& r)
>> {
>> if (this != &r)
>> {
>> std::unique_lock<std::mutex> this_lock(mut, std::defer_lock);
>> std::unique_lock<std::mutex> that_lock(r.mut,
>> std::defer_lock);
>> std::lock(this_lock, that_lock);
>> // Both source and destination are locked
>> // Safe to assign
>> // ...
>> }
>> return *this;
>> }
>> If we change the first 3 lines of the 'if' to:
>> std::lock(mut, r.mut);
>> std::unique_lock<std::mutex> this_lock(mut, std::accept_ownership);
>> std::unique_lock<std::mutex> that_lock(r.mut, std::accept_ownership);
>> then it works without defer_lock.
> <nod> However I'm not comfortable with claiming that defer_lock has
> no use beyond this use case, especially when defer_lock-support costs
> nothing (see below). This is especially true given that
> boost::thread has supported the defer_lock functionality (under a
> different spelling) for six or seven years and this is the first
> report I've seen that the functionality is sufficiently complicating
> that it should be removed.
>> This allows us to:
>> 1. Make unique_lock's interface simpler.
>> 2. Make sizeof(unique_lock) smaller - no need for bool owns.
> Even if we remove defer_lock, unique_lock will still need the
> internal bool to support try and timed locks. This functionality
> still retains a reference to the mutex even if the try/timed lock
> fails (so that further action with the mutex can be easily taken).

This is something I don't understand. Why should the lock retain a
reference to the mutex even if the try/timed lock fails?

>> 3. Make unique_lock more similar to unique_ptr, which makes it more
>> intuitive.
>> 4. Make std::lock simpler in the way that it doesn't need to accept
>> locks, only mutexes.
> std::lock isn't further complicated by accepting both mutexes and
> locks. It accepts anything that supports lock(), try_lock() and
> unlock(). To disallow locks, we would have to make std::lock more
> complicated by detecting lock template arguments and then actively
> disabling them. I see no motivation to add this complication.

Oh no, I wasn't suggesting something like that at all. By "make
std::lock simpler" I meant simpler in our heads. Make our thinking of it
simpler. Thinking about it (and documenting it) as something that deals
with mutexes is simpler than if it was dealing with both mutexes and locks.

>> In general it seems you paid a lot of attention to being able to
>> pass a
>> lock instead of a mutex wherever possible. I think it's absolutely not
>> necessary. It's an undue complication.
> Actually I tried to pay attention to what the minimal requirements
> were on template parameters. It just turned out that some generic
> code would accept either locks or mutexes.

But you made the effort of mentioning it several times in the document.
That implies importance. My claim is that there is no importance to it,
because there's no use for it, even if it happens that we named
unique_lock::lock the same way we named mutex::lock. We could've have
named them differently. And while I'm thinking of it, why is there a
lock() method for unique_lock anyway? Isn't it unnecessary?

>> * Other than that - very nice :)
> Thanks. Sorry the paper keeps changing out from under you. There
> are many people actively working a single document now and such
> changes are inevitable.

No need to apologize. I much prefer it like that, than the other way
around, where the document was forgotten, accumulating dust... :)

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