[Tkinter-discuss] Proposal for thread-safe Tkinter
callen at gemini.edu
Wed Oct 29 03:23:54 CET 2008
ah, thanks again Guilherme. That was the principle I was following when
I tried to make this well behaved (I'd had a worse, and badly behaved,
first version). It was important for Tk not to have the main thread,
since the GUI is an addendum for what is generally a command line tool.
On Tue, 2008-10-28 at 18:52 -0200, Guilherme Polo wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 6:33 PM, C. Allen <callen at gemini.edu> wrote:
> > wait a second... I have a class system, and to exercise this class system,
> > and possibly as a general command line tool in the future, I access this
> > class from a script meant to run in a shell. To watch progress of the system
> > as it runs (it's processing data, and can take significant amounts of time)
> > so I thought I'd make a nice little interface to watch the progress, and let
> > the user pause and do other control commands. This is not the purpose of
> > this command line tool, however, so I only bring that up based on a command
> > line flag. Also, I do not call mainloop from the main thread, because it is
> > doing the processing, and is the "real" program. I start another thread,
> > use it (and only it) as the Tk thread.
> As long as other calls to tk come from the same thread that created
> the interpreter, there is no need to schedule these calls.
> > This all works fine, and I never get the exception mentioned below.
> The message in that error is more in the sense of "the thread that
> created the tcl interpreter is not in main loop". It is also very hard
> to get it with just two threads. It will try ten times, which will
> last 1 second (as the current implementation), at max, to acquire the
> thread that created the tcl interpreter, only then if this fails you
> get that error.
> > -craig
> > On Mon, 2008-10-27 at 15:10 -0200, Guilherme Polo wrote:
> > On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM, Allen Taylor
> > <Allen.Taylor at mdacorporation.com> wrote:
> >> All,
> >> After a very helpful discussion with "Guilherme Polo <ggpolo at gmail.com>",
> >> we
> >> have come to the following conclusion regarding multithreaded applications
> >> and Tkinter. Although Tk is technically thread-safe (if built with
> >> --enable-threads), practically speaking it still has problems when used in
> >> multithreaded applications.
> > Now that I reread it, I see you said "Tk is technically thread-safe
> > (if built with --enable-threads)". It is not true, what happens is
> > that tkinter makes it thread safe by using some mutexes and scheduling
> > actions to go through the thread that created the tcl interpreter,
> > which otherwise would happen elsewhere. But tk isn't thread safe per
> > se (only tcl, since version 8.1). At the same time, if tk is
> > compiled without thread support but python has thread support, then
> > tkinter fails miserably to protect against multiple threads from
> > python from accessing tk.
> > And again, your module does help in this case since all the
> > interaction to tk will occur through main thread, independent of tk
> > having thread support or not.
> >> The problem stems from the fact that _tkinter
> >> attempts to gain control of the main thread via a polling technique. If it
> >> succeeds, all is well. If it fails, however, the application receives an
> >> exception with the message "RuntimeError: main thread is not in main
> >> loop".
> >> There is no way to tell when this might happen, so calling Tk routines
> >> from
> >> multiple threads seems to be problematic at best.
> >> The mtTkinter module I published last week
> >> (http://tkinter.unpythonic.net/wiki/mtTkinter) solves this problem by
> >> marshaling calls coming from multiple threads through a queue which is
> >> read
> >> by an 'after' event running periodically in the main loop. This is similar
> >> to the technique used in many other platforms (e.g., .NET's
> >> InvokeRequired/Invoke mechanism). The technique used in mtTkinter is
> >> exception-safe as well, marshaling exceptions through a response queue
> >> back
> >> to the caller's thread.
> >> If a similar technique were employed in _tkinter instead of the polling
> >> technique, that would be a preferable solution. In the meantime, mtTkinter
> >> will work as a good stop-gap measure.
> >> Allen B. Taylor
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Tkinter-discuss at python.org
> > http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tkinter-discuss
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