Synchronization in Software

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10 Synchronization
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Condition Variables
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A condition variable is a new synchronization construct introduced in Windows Vista A condition variable always works in conjunction with either a critical section or a slim reader/writer lock The basic idea behind a condition variable is that it allows threads to wait until a particular condition occurs The wait is performed with a three-step atomic operation: 1 Release the lock associated with the condition variable 2 Enter a wait state 3 Once woken up, reacquires the lock associated with the condition variable The functions associated with condition variables are illustrated in Table 154 Table 154
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API InitializeConditionVariable SleepConditionVariableCS SleepConditionVariableSRW Description
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WakeAllConditionVariable WakeConditionVariable
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Initializes a condition variable Waits on a condition variable and releases the specified critical section as an atomic operation Waits on a condition variable and releases the specified slim reader/writer lock as an atomic operation Wakes up all threads waiting on the specified condition variable Wakes a single thread waiting on the specified condition variable
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Similar to the new slim reader/writer lock, the definition of a condition variable (CONDITION_VARIABLE type) is relatively simple in nature, as shown in the following:
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typedef struct _RTL_CONDITION_VARIABLE { PVOID Ptr; }
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15 WINDOWS VISTA FUNDAMENTALS
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Windows Vista Fundamentals
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One-Time Initialization
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It is often necessary for the code to perform one-time initialization work In a singlethreaded environment, it is typically not a difficult chore to achieve, but in a multithreaded environment, ensuring that the object is constructed only once requires some work To make it easier for developers requiring one-time initialization in a multi-threaded environment, Windows Vista introduced APIs that help developers take the pain out of the initialization code Table 155 shows the function associated with one-time initialization Table 155
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API Description
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InitOnceBeginInitialize Begins one-time initialization InitOnceComplete InitOnceExecuteOnce
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InitOnceInitialize
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Completes one-time initialization Executes the specified initialization function once No other threads specifying the same one-time initialization structure can execute while the current thread is executing Initializes a one-time initialization structure
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The fundamental data type behind one-time initialization is the INIT_ONCE structure shown in the following:
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typedef RTL_RUN_ONCE INIT_ONCE; typedef union _RTL_RUN_ONCE { PVOID Ptr; }
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Improved Thread Pool
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The thread pool in Windows Vista has gone through a major face-lift In fact, the thread pool has been rewritten from the ground up to make it more reliable and intrinsically provide many features missing from prior versions of Windows Here are a few examples of new features added to the Windows Vista thread pool:
Multiple pools per process Cancellation of work Automatic cleanup (including releasing of locks) Configurable maximum and minimum number of threads
13 Postmortem Debugging
11 Writing Custom Debugger Extensions
Unless you are writing a custom debugger extension that requires Windows Vista specific functionality, you will not need to do anything different If, however, you are writing a Windows Vista-specific extension, you will need to ensure that the build window in which you choose to build the extension is a Windows Vista build window This can be done by installing the WDK and choosing the Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn Server build window from the Windows Driver Kits menu item in the Start menu In general, it is recommended that debugger extensions are versioned according to the operating system version that they work on If you look at the debugger extensions that ship with Debugging Tools for Windows, you will see several subdirectories, each representing a particular version of the operating system Within each of the subdirectories, you can find the debugger extensions requiring that particular Windows version If, however, you are developing an extension that does not depend on any specific version of Windows, you can simply build one, and the same extension works across multiple Windows versions The only caveat to this approach is to make sure that the extension is built for the lowest common denominator to ensure that it loads in later versions of Windows