Semaphore or what should I use?

Pierre Barbier de Reuille pierre.barbier at
Mon Dec 6 09:23:16 CET 2004

Sergei Organov a ecrit :
> Pierre Barbier de Reuille <pierre.barbier at> writes:
>>Ville Vainio a ecrit :
>>>>>>>>"Bastian" == Bastian Hammer <webmaster at> writes:
>>>    Bastian> Now I have to make sure, that both threads are
>>>    Bastian> synchronal, 1 thread edits something and the other is
>>>    Bastian> blocked until the first thread is ready.
>>>    Bastian> Isn't it a good idea to do this with a semaphore?
>>>Semaphore will do, but this is a classical use case for
>>>There should be lots of stuff regarding locks (or more googleably,
>>>"mutexes") on the net.
>>I don't agree. Mutexes (or locks) are best suited for critical sections (ie.
>>sections that cannot be run by many thread at the same time).
> Please don't add even more confusion to the issue. Mutex conceptually is
> designed to be used for MUTual EXclusion of access to a resource (e.g.,
> a peace of data). While critical section could be implemented using
> mutex, the mutex itself is more general concept. Besides, the rule of
> thumb using mutexes is: "protect data, not program code."
> My answer to OP's question is: use either lock (mutex) or semaphore.
> I'd probably use semaphore as mutexes are usually optimized for the case
> when contention probability is low (i.e., they usually shouldn't be locked
> for a long time).

My point is : semaphore is more complex than what he needs. Event are 
simpler and just do what he needs : block one thread until another one 
finished some jobs and launchs the event (have a look at my example).

Afterward, I agree that the concept of mutex is the most general : you 
can implement every other kind of lock using just mutexes.


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