RESOURCE LEAKS in Software

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9 RESOURCE LEAKS
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If the SomeFunc function throws exceptions (that might or might not be caught above you), this function will definitely leak More specifically, it will leak 255 bytes worth of memory If we were to use an auto_ptr, we would be guaranteed that it would not leak even in the presence of exceptions because stack unwinding guarantees that all local objects (that is, allocated on the stack) are cleaned up when exiting the function Another possibility is to overload the allocation APIs used in your application This allows for trapping all calls to memory allocations, thereby giving you hooks to all memory allocations performed by your applications The allocation hooks can then be used to track memory allocations, simulate failures in memory allocations, and much more
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Summary
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Resource leaks are some of the biggest reasons behind software instability and, as such, should be treated as high-priority bugs in any piece of software In this chapter, we explained the overall process of the leak detection process and two different types of resource leaks (handle and memory leaks), as well as the associated tools to make life much easier when tracking down and fixing leaks We described how to use UMDH, LeakDiag, and a number of extremely powerful extension commands (!htrace and !heap) to help more efficiently track down resource leaks In addition, we have introduced some (but definitely not all) ways of making the tools we use every day (such as the compiler) alleviate the burden of accidentally forgetting to free a resource when you are done using it The auto construct is a very popular and powerful mechanism to achieve fewer resource leaks in your software Armed with the knowledge of the overall resource leak detection process, as well as a good understanding of the most fundamental types of resources, you will be able to tackle any type of resource leak
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C H A P T E R
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In this chapter, we take a close look at some very common synchronization problems and how to troubleshoot and find the root cause as efficiently as possible The chapter starts out by explaining the basic synchronization primitives available in Windows followed by a number of practical debugging scenarios showcasing common synchronization problems and how to use the debuggers to find the root cause
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The Windows operating system is a preemptive and multithreaded operating system Multithreading refers to the capability to run any number of threads concurrently If the system is a single-processor machine, Windows creates the illusion of concurrent thread execution by enabling each thread to run for a short period of time (known as a time quantum) After that time quantum is exhausted, the thread is put into a wait state and the processor switches to another thread (known as a context switch), and so on On a multiprocessor machine, two or more threads are capable of running concurrently (one thread per physical processor) By being preemptive, all active threads in the system must be capable of yielding control of the processor to another thread at any point in time Given that the operating system can take away control from a thread, developers must take care to always be in a state in which control can safely be taken away If all applications were single threaded, or if all the threads were running in isolation, synchronization would not be a problem Alas, for the sake of efficiency, dependent multithreading is the norm today and also the source of a lot of bugs in applications Dependent multithreading occurs when two or more threads need to work in tandem to complete a task Code execution for a given task might, for example, be broken up between one or more threads (with or without shared resources), and hence the threads need to communicate with each other with regard to the order of thread execution This communication is referred to as thread synchronization and is crucial to any multithreaded application To synchronize threads, Windows provides a set of synchronization primitives 493
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