The Wiert Corner – irregular stream of stuff

Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘Multi-Threading / Concurrency’ Category

Terminate threads during application or not?

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/10/02

I got an interesting question a while ago: should an application terminate (anonymous) threads or not?

A problem is that a thread might not execute unless you call WaitFor before Terminate is called. The reason is that the internal function ThreadProc does not start Execute if the thread is already terminated.

The ThreadProc in the System.Classes unit is an ideal place to set breakpoints in order to see which threads might start.

Other useful places to set breakpoints:

  • TAnonymousThread.Execute
  • TExternalThread.Execute

Execute not being called by ThreadProc is a bug, but it is not documented because QC is gone (taking the below entry with it), it is not in QP and the docwiki never got updated.

Given QC has so much information, I am still baffled that Embarcadero took it down.

Sergey Kasandrov (a.k.a. serg or sergworks) wrote in [WayBack] Sleep sort and TThread corner case | The Programming Works about this bug and refers to WayBack: QualityCentral 35451 – TThread implementation doesn’t guarantee that thread’s Execute method will be called at all .

The really bad thing are the WayBack: QualityCentral Resolution Entries for Report #35451 Resolution “As Designed” implying the design is wrong.

In his post, sergworks implemented the Sleep sorting in Delphi. Related:

Note that application shutdown is a much debated topic. Best is to do as little cleanup as possible: your process is going to terminate soon anyway. No need to close handles or free memory: Windows will do that for you anyway. See for instance:


Related to waiting:

Related to executing:


Posted in Conference Topics, Conferences, Delphi, Development, Event, Multi-Threading / Concurrency, Software Development, The Old New Thing, Windows Development | Leave a Comment »

Sometimes a race condition is in just two lines of code

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/07/30

A race condition can be this small:

if Assigned(Setting.OnChanged) then

If in between these lines, the value of Setting.OnChanged becomes nil, then you have an access violation.

It is a very slim, but real chance.


Posted in Delphi, Development, Multi-Threading / Concurrency, Software Development | 4 Comments »

Laptop fan profiling, and debugging them – related to Profiling | CommitStrip

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/07/23

A while back, I posted the “profiling” CommitStrip on[WayBack] Profiling – Jeroen Wiert Pluimers – Google+. Boy how did I not know that within a week, I bumped into a “laptop fan profiling” artefact.

A coworker noticed, that when starting a thread based equivalent of [WayBack] TTimer Class (which cannot be used in services as it depends on the VCL), then sometimes the laptop fans would spin up.

What basically happened was that for certain combinations of Enabled and Interval the Execute would loop burning 100% of one CPU core.

With 3 or more – sometimes 2 – of these threads active on a 4+4 core (4 are hyper-threaded), the processor fan would start to spin like madness.

Finding the solution was somewhat easy too:

  • Process Explorer would show the thread IDs burning the most CPU cycles
  • Delphi shows the Thread IDs in the Thread Status pane (if they are named, the ID is at the end of the name in parenthesis)
  • At around Delphi 2010, you can Freeze or Thaw threads. This allows you to debug only a single thread by freezing all others.

Focussing on one thread, allowed a close inspection of the loop, quickly finding the actual cause and repairing it.

TTimer Thread

A similar and better class is at [WayBack] multithreading – TTimerThread – Threaded timer class – Code Review Stack Exchange, based on [WayBack] timer – Using VCL TTimer in Delphi console application – Stack Overflow.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Conference Topics, Conferences, Debugging, Delphi, Development, Event, Fun, Multi-Threading / Concurrency, Profiling-Performance-Measurement, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

Threads are not the answer | CompuTruthing

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/07/17

Long read, but worth it: [WayBack] Threads are not the answer | CompuTruthing

We argue that the thread-oriented approach to concurrency is a bad approach. It has severe modifiability problems, but also performance problems. We should not think in terms of low level primitives.

It has great analogies between threading and cars on roads:

Software world Automotive world
thread road
work unit set of cars that pass over a road in a period of time
work unit dependencies cars need to go from one road to another
total execution time total time for all cars to reach the destination
lock/semaphore traffic lights / roundabout
too few work unit dependencies (highway) road network badly connected (sometimes this means long way to nearby locations)
too many work unit dependencies too many intersections or access points (too much time spent in these)
too many small threads (descheduled often) small roads
threads that are not descheduled from cores highways


[WayBack] Kevlin Henney – Google+ 

Related videos under the fold (more at DevTube – Videos by @kevlinhenney)


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Posted in Development, Multi-Threading / Concurrency, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

The red zone, is why you want immutable constructs

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/05/23

Most code I come across is in the red zone, exactly depicting why you want immutable constructs. Immutable constructs will never end-up in the red zone.

Image: [WayBackWayback Machine.

The red zone is just one quadrant on the mutability/shareability diagram and getting outside that red zone quadrant is key.

With processor cores now becoming ubiquitous: you cannot get outside of the “Shard” half, so you have to get outside of the “Mutable” half.

Explaining the why and how, is part of a few presentations that Kevlin Henney gave:

Related YouTube videos are below.


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Conference Topics, Conferences, Development, Event, Multi-Threading / Concurrency, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

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