How to kill a thread?

Rhamphoryncus rhamph at
Mon Jun 9 22:20:42 CEST 2008

On Jun 9, 5:33 am, Antoon Pardon <apar... at> wrote:
> On 2008-06-07, Rhamphoryncus <rha... at> wrote:
> > On Jun 6, 12:44 pm, The Pythonista <n... at this.time> wrote:
> >> It's always been my understanding that you can't forcibly kill a thread
> >> in Python (at least not in a portable way).  The best you can do is
> >> politely ask it to die, IIRC.
> > Inherently, the best you can do in most languages is ask them politely
> > to die.  Otherwise you'll leave locks and various other datastructures
> > in an inconvenient state, which is too complex to handle correctly.
> > The exception is certain functional languages, which aren't capable of
> > having threads and complex state in the same sense.
> Well it would of course depend on what is considered asking politely?
> If one thread could cause an exception being thrown in an other thread,
> would this be considered a polite way to ask? Would it be considered
> an acceptable way?

The exception must not be raised until a point explicitly designed as
safe is hit.  Otherwise, any function that manipulates data you'll
still use will potentially be buggered.  Consider sys.stdout: codecs,
buffering, lots to go wrong.

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