Re: Thread cancellation and joining (GThreads)

Regretfully I didn't yet received an(y) answer to the problem :(

Does this mean that neither GThread thread-cancellation nor cancelling a
ORBit-2 remote-call is possible and that I should move on with my
live? :)

Perhaps if the GThread-subsystem can't be cancelled, the ORBit-2-folks
could look at this issue? Perhaps by making it possible to make the
CORBA calls non-blocking or something like that?

It sounds odd to me that a thread cannot get cancelled, but I have been
reading some older mailinglist-threads about the issue. It looks like
the GLib people have simply made the decision to not include thread-
cancellation to GLib. Both for portability and other reasons. The other
reasons for example being that the behaviour of functions like
pthread_cancel is not always known.

Is that correct?

On Thu, 2004-08-05 at 14:15 +0200, Philip Van Hoof wrote:
> Hi there,
> I am building an application that does asynchrone calls with a CORBA
> server. At both sides we are using ORBit. At the client-side the library
> version is ORBit-2, at the server-side the library version is ORBit-1.
> We managed to get that working already.
> It's being asynchrone by using one thread that travels a queue that can
> grow during the application-run. The queue-items have a priority-field
> which is used to search the next most urgent call in the queue right
> after the last job has finished.
> This queue-mechanism is working. I am already doing multiple asynchrone
> CORBA calls which will return for example image-data, which I use
> between a gdk_threads_enter() and a gdk_threads_leave() to fill a
> GtkDrawingArea with that image-data. This is ultra-stable and it just,
> well ... works.
> However...
> We simulated a crash at the server-side (the CORBA-server). When the
> CORBA-server crashes, the thread is waiting for the CORBA-server to
> close the connection or .. well, it's waiting in the CORBA-function-
> call. The result is that my queue stops processing (it actually waits)
> until the server is brought completely down (killed) and/or restarted.
> I don't want my queue-thread to wait in that call. If the CORBA-server
> fails, I want to give my user the power to cancel the job. Even perhaps
> to abort the whole queue-thread-execution and at a later time, restart
> the queue-thread (or make it automatically restart and pick up where it
> left).
> However...
> So far I failed to find a g_thread_cancel ()-like API call. I could use
> some flag which would stop the thread at the first next call, and in
> fact I am doing that to allow the queue-thread to shut-down properly and
> to make my main-thread join it during the cleanup-phase of my
> application (so while the application is shutting down). However, the
> thread is not returning the CORBA-function that I am calling. It
> actually hangs in that function ... I guess this is what they call a
> blocking operation. Until completed, the function will not return. On
> failure, it will only return when the server sends some failure-signal
> or whatever. The server, which has crashed (simulated crash), will never
> send that signal. Or perhaps the ORBit-library will abort on some
> timeout, but I don't want my user to wait for such a timeout.
> So basically, I want to forcefully abort the thread-execution.
> Is that possible? Or is there a better method for my specific situation?
> I have been thinking about launching a new thread per call. Since the
> calls in the queue cannot be executed in parallel (by the server, this
> is a fact which cannot be changed -the server is controlling a
> mechanical device which just can't, really can't, do things in
> parallel), I would have to make the queue-loop thread join the launched
> thread and by that making it wait for termination in order to select the
> next job to get launched. Which is fine for me (I could program it like
> that). I just don't see a solution if I do it like that either, I will
> face the exact same problem .. but will have yet another thread to
> manage :) (but which I can perhaps forcefully kill more easily, of which
> how to do that -> I don't know == my question).
> Sidenote: When I do abort the thread, I want to have the opportunity to
> cleanup allocated memory in that thread. Else aborting such a thread
> would cause some memory to get leaked, I guess. So joining the thread
> should still be possible, so when the thread does get cancelled, the
> g_thread_exit ()-call should be used for that (else will the join fail,
> I guess -when I kill the specific thread using a debugger, the join
> hangs-).
Philip Van Hoof, Software Developer @ Cronos
home: me at freax dot org
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org
work: Philip dot VanHoof at Cronos dot Be,

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