Pthreads Programming

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September 1996



Computers are just as busy as the rest of us nowadays. They have lots of tasks to do at once, and need some cleverness to get them all done at the same time.
That's why threads are seen more and more often as a new model for programming. Threads have been available for some time. The Mach operating system, the Distributed Computer Environment (DCE), and Windows NT all feature threads.
One advantage of most UNIX implementations, as well as DCE, is that they conform to a recently ratified POSIX standard (originally 1003.4a, now 1003.1c), which allows your programs to be portable between them. POSIX threads are commonly known as pthreads, after the word that starts all the names of the function calls. The standard is supported by Solaris, OSF/1, AIX, and several other UNIX-based operating systems.
The idea behind threads programming is to have multiple tasks running concurrently within the same program. They can share a single CPU as processes do, or take advantage of multiple CPUs when available. In either case, they provide a clean way to divide the tasks of a program while sharing data.
A window interface can read input on dozens of different buttons, each responsible for a separate task. A network server has to accept simultaneous calls from many clients, providing each with reasonable response time. A multiprocessor runs a number-crunching program on several CPUs at once, combining the results when all are done. All these kinds of applications can benefit from threads.
In this book you will learn not only what the pthread calls are, but when it is a good idea to use threads and how to make them efficient (which is the whole reason for using threads in the first place). The authors delves into performance issues, comparing threads to processes, contrasting kernel threads to user threads, and showing how to measure speed. He also describes in a simple, clear manner what all the advanced features are for, and how threads interact with the rest of the UNIX system.
Topics include:
* Basic design techniques
* Mutexes, conditions, and specialized synchronization techniques
* Scheduling, priorities, and other real-time issues
* Cancellation
* UNIX libraries and re-entrant routines
* Signals
* Debugging tips
* Measuring performance
* Special considerations for the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE)


Preface. Chapter 1. Why Threads? What Are Pthreads? Potential Parallelism Specifying Potential Parallelism in a Concurrent Programming Environment Parallel vs. Concurrent Programming Synchronization Who Am I? Who Are You? Terminating Thread Execution Why Use Threads Over Processes? A Structured Programming Environment Choosing Which Applications to Thread. Chapter 2. Designing Threaded Programs Suitable Tasks for Threading Models Buffering Data Between Threads Some Common Problems Performance Example: An ATM Server Example: A Matrix Multiplication Program. Chapter 3. Synchronizing Pthreads Selecting the Right Synchronization Tool Mutex Variables Condition Variables Reader/Writer Locks Synchronization in the ATM Server Thread Pools. Chapter 4. Managing Pthreads Setting Thread Attributes The pthread_once Mechanism Keys: Using Thread-Specific Data Cancellation Scheduling Pthreads Mutex Scheduling Attributes. Chapter 5. Pthreads and UNIX Threads and Signals Threadsafe Library Functions and System Calls Cancellation-Safe Library Functions and System Calls Thread-Blocking Library Functions and System Calls Threads and Process Management Multiprocessor Memory Synchronization. Chapter 6. Practical Considerations Understanding Pthreads Implementation Debugging Performance Conclusion Appendix A. Pthreads and DCE Appendix B. Pthreads Draft 4 vs. the Final Standard Appendix C. Pthreads Quick Reference Index


Dick Buttlar is a consulting writer in the UNIX Engineering Group at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he recently completed his stint as project leader for the Digital UNIX cluster documentation. He specializes in programming documentation -- both user-level and kernel -- and, in a former life, wrote the device driver documentation for the VMS operating system. A few years ago, he managed the initial planning of the corporate- wide documentation effort for Digital's Alpha processor. He's worked for Wang Laboratories, Recal/Redac, North American Technologies, and the American Trial Lawyers Association, among other places. He has a B.A. in English from Boston College and an M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
EAN: 9781565921153
ISBN: 1565921151
Untertitel: 'A Nutshell handbook'. black & white illustrations. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: O'Reilly Media, Inc, USA
Erscheinungsdatum: September 1996
Seitenanzahl: 286 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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