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Multithreaded

Posted on 2003-11-09
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Hi,

How can I handle variable accessing (read and write) simultaneously in a multithreaded application ?

Thanks,
Andrew
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Question by:andrewyu
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jconde earned 320 total points
ID: 9712790
You can do this with a Mutex ... In delphi terms, a TCriticalSection will take care of this.

You should NEVER try to access variables simultaneously (specially for write) ... its certain that your app will crash sooner rather than later.  By using a TCriticalSection you  protect each variable so that only one threat can access it at a time.  As soon as you finish updating the variable (writing to it) you should call TCriticalSection.leave.  At that point, another thread will enter the critical section and so on.   ... for example

type

  someclass = class
  protected:
    CriticalSection: TCriticalSection;
  public
   constructor create;
  destructor destroy;
    procedure SomeClass.bcISAPIFilterException(Sender: TObject; E: Exception);
  end;

constructor create;
begin
  CriticalSection:= TCriticalSection.Create;
end;

destructor destroy;
begin
  CriticalSection.Free;
end;

 procedure SomeClass.bcISAPIFilterException(Sender: TObject; E: Exception);
 begin
  CriticalSection.Enter; //protect the log file from multiple threads
  bcLog.LogInfo('An exception occured: ' + E.Message);
  CriticalSection.Leave;
end;

Read the delphi documentation on TCriticalSection as it will explain to you exactly what its used for and why is it needed.

You can also search google for "pthread Mutex" and that will explain in more detail what mutexes (TCriticalSections) are used for.
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Expert Comment

by:gmayo
ID: 9713146
Simple variables are not a problem. Records, strings, objects, lists, arrays etc are a problem. Several objects have a thread-safe version, such as a Lock/Unlock method. TThreadList is a thread-safe version of TList which does not explicitly need to be locked/unlocked.

Failing that, if the data is more complex, use a CriticalSection as jconde suggests.

Geoff M.
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