Solved

global variables multi-threading application

Posted on 2011-02-16
7
1,671 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello experts.

I have a multi-threading Delphi application that uses some global variables but only for read-only purposes. The initial value of those global variables is set when the application starts and only the main thread is active. I have not had problems with my application so far but want to know if it is safe to read the value of global variables in a multi-threaded application and the reason why it is safe or not to access the global variables for reading their value.

Regards.
0
Comment
Question by:arturosm
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
7 Comments
 
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Geert Gruwez
Geert Gruwez earned 200 total points
ID: 34910346
it would be better if you pass the value of the variables to the thread
this way you can keep the global variables and the thread is not affected by any changes

you could build in a system to restart the thread

using global variables accessed by threads is not such a good idea

you could protect access to them with critical sections
0
 
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Ephraim Wangoya
Ephraim Wangoya earned 100 total points
ID: 34910385

So long as they are strictly readonly, then it would be safe to access them.
However for safety and less headache, you should still protect them
0
 

Author Comment

by:arturosm
ID: 34910445
Thank you Geert_Gruwez.

I don´t know if this is another question, just that I don´t know much about critical sections, can you tell me more please, I'm asking for concepts more than for code.

Regards.

0
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 

Author Comment

by:arturosm
ID: 34910477
Thank you ewangoya.

Yes, they are strictly read only, basically they contain the value of paths to folders that the application uses for reading and writing files.

Regards.
0
 
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Geert Gruwez
Geert Gruwez earned 200 total points
ID: 34910523
unit x;

var globalvar: string;

function valueofglobalvar: string;

implementation

uses SyncObjs;

var cs: TCriticalSection;

procedure initCs;
begin
  cs := TCriticalSection.Create;
end;

procedure EndCs;
begin
  cs.Free;
end;

function valueofglobalvar: string;
begin
  cs.Enter;
  try
    Result := globalvar;
  finally
    cs.Leave;
  end;
end;

initialization
  InitCs;
finalization
  EndCs;
end.




0
 
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
Hypo earned 200 total points
ID: 34910549
I'd say that it's "safe", but it's considered to be "bad practice" to have unprotected variables that are accessed from multiple threads, even if you only read from them... It would probably work fine in your application since you say that these variables are only written to before any threads start... and then they are only read...

There is a synchronization object in Delphi that's called TMultiReadExclusiveWriteSynchronizer, and the purpose of this object is to allow for multiple threads to access/read the same variables simultaniously, whilst it still gives the possibility to protect the resource when you need to write to it...

This syncrhonization object is also normally used when you have a resource that you know will be often read by mutliple threads, but only written to in rare occacions; and the synchronization object helps speeding up the application since reads then don't have to wait for other reads...

Since the TMultiReadExclusiveWriteSynchronizer allows multiple threads to access the same resource at the same time as long as no one has locked it for writing, I'd say that your application design would be "safe" as well... and If you want to be extra safe, you implement a locking mechanism using the TMultiReadExclusiveWriteSynchronizer.

/Hypo
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:arturosm
ID: 34913558
Thank you experts, your comments helped me to understand better this subject.

Regards.
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Exception Handling is in the core of any application that is able to dignify its name. In this article, I'll guide you through the process of writing a DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) Exception Handling mechanism, using Aspect Oriented Programming.
This is about my first experience with programming Arduino.
Viewers will learn how to properly install Eclipse with the necessary JDK, and will take a look at an introductory Java program. Download Eclipse installation zip file: Extract files from zip file: Download and install JDK 8: Open Eclipse and …

734 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question