[Python-Dev] Thread-safe file objects, the return

Gregory P. Smith greg at krypto.org
Sun Apr 6 08:29:29 CEST 2008

I've reviewed the patch on http://bugs.python.org/issue815646 and have
uploaded my modified version (mostly test improvements and some formatting
to keep C code under 80 columns with proper 8 space tabs).  I would have
committed it already but I have a sneaking suspicion that its unit test will
barf on windows since it could depend on some posix-like file system

Could someone with a windows build environment please test it as asked in
the issue and report back in the tracker?


On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 11:47 AM, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 3:17 AM, Antoine Pitrou <solipsis at pitrou.net>
> wrote:
> >  Guido van Rossum <guido <at> python.org> writes:
> >  > Your solution (a counter) seems fine except I think perhaps the
> >  > close() call should not raise IOError -- instead, it should set a
> flag
> >  > so that the thread that makes the counter go to zero can close the
> >  > thread (after all the file got closed while it was being used).
> >
> >  I agree with Gregory: we should be explicit about what happens. I
> wonder
> >  what we would gain from that approach - apart from encouraging
> dangerous
> >  coding practices :)
> >  It also depends how far we want to go: I am merely proposing to fix the
> >  crashes, do we want to provide a "smarter" close() variation that does
> what
> >  you suggest for people that want (or need) to take the risk?
> I also agree with Gregory now -- at least on the issue of fclose().
> I think that for other (non-closing) operations we should be fine,
> given the Posix requirement that streams have an internal lock. While
> multiple threads reading from a file sounds insane, multiple files
> writing to a file is pretty common (think of stdout or stderr) and
> should be supported.
> >  > There are of course other concurrency issues besides close -- what if
> >  > two threads both try to do I/O on the file? What will the C stdio
> >  > library do in that case? Are stdio files thread-safe at the C level?
> >
> >  According to the glibc documentation, at
> >
> http://www.gnu.org/software/libc/manual/html_node/Streams-and-Threads.html:
> >
> >  « The POSIX standard requires that by default the stream operations are
> >  atomic. I.e., issuing two stream operations for the same stream in two
> >  threads at the same time will cause the operations to be executed as if
> >  they were issued sequentially. The buffer operations performed while
> >  reading or writing are protected from other uses of the same stream. To
> do
> >  this each stream has an internal lock object which has to be
> (implicitly)
> >  acquired before any work can be done. »
> >
> >  So according to POSIX rules it should be perfectly safe.
> Cool.
> >  In any case, someone would have to try my patch under Windows and OS X
> and
> >  see if test_file.py passes without crashing.
> I know Windows has internal locks on stdio. I trust that OSX, being a
> BSD descendant, is posix compliant. So I'm not worried about these.
> +1 on your patch, assuming some other developer reviews it and submits it.
> --
> --Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/<http://www.python.org/%7Eguido/>
> )
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