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From "Liviu Nicoara (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (STDCXX-1056) std::moneypunct and std::numpunct implementations are not thread-safe
Date Sun, 23 Sep 2012 17:03:07 GMT


Liviu Nicoara commented on STDCXX-1056:

This summarizes the findings that occurred during the long (!) discussion on the mailing list:

1. Data caching in the facet object, and the access to it, was improperly guarded
2. Concurrent modification of the same string member (via same handle) occurs
3. Stefan identified race conditions in the locale/facet code, beyond caching
4. Stefan provided a clean, race-free patch (although its scope is contested)
5. Alternatively, the simple elimination of locale data caching eliminates test suite failures

Besides the obvious defect in caching, DCII occurs in the facet initialization code which
would make it thread unsafe although we don't currently have a failing test case.

The patch from Stefan eliminates all race conditions and effectively synchronizes all access
to facet data. Performance data is not available. It is very possible that this strict synchronization
matters very little in the overall picture of the localization library performance.

Alternatively, the simplest and least invasive solution at the moment is to just eliminate
the caching code. This keeps the fast, unguarded reads of the facet data and relies on the
(disputed) thread-safety of the facet initialization code. Timings showed better performance
on SMP than the cached facet, and way worse in ST. It also plays in future development with
a non-reference counted std::string.

The DCII is a serious matter even though there is no failing test case yet. A memory barrier
API, recognized by the compiler, would allow us to preserve the fast, unguarded reads of facet
data (and even caching).
> std::moneypunct and std::numpunct implementations are not thread-safe
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: STDCXX-1056
>                 URL:
>             Project: C++ Standard Library
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: 22. Localization
>    Affects Versions: 4.2.1, 4.2.x, 4.3.x, 5.0.0
>         Environment: Solaris 10 and 11, RedHat and OpenSuSE Linux, Sun C++ Compilers
12.1, 12.2, 12.3
> Issue is independent of platform and/or compiler.
>            Reporter: Stefan Teleman
>              Labels: thread-safety
>             Fix For: 4.2.x, 4.3.x, 5.0.0
>         Attachments:, runtests-linux32-all.out, runtests-linux64-all.out,
runtests.out, STDCXX-1056-additional-timings.tgz, stdcxx-1056.patch, stdcxx-1056-timings.tgz,
stdcxx-4.2.x-numpunct-perfect-forwarding.patch, stdcxx-4.3.x-numpunct-perfect-forwarding.patch
> several member functions in std::moneypunct<> and std::numpunct<> return
> a std::string by value (as required by the Standard). The implication of return-by-value
> being that the caller "owns" the returned object.
> In the stdcxx implementation, the std::basic_string copy constructor uses a shared
> underlying buffer implementation. This shared buffer creates the first problem for
> these classes: although the std::string object returned by value *appears* to be owned
> by the caller, it is, in fact, not.
> In a mult-threaded environment, this underlying shared buffer can be subsequently modified
by a different thread than the one who made the initial call. Furthermore, two or more different
threads can access the same shared buffer at the same time, and modify it, resulting in undefined
run-time behavior.
> The cure for this defect has two parts:
> 1. the member functions in question must truly return a copy by avoiding a call to the
copy constructor, and using a constructor which creates a deep copy of the std::string.
> 2. access to these member functions must be serialized, in order to guarantee atomicity
> of the creation of the std::string being returned by value.
> Patch for 4.2.1 to follow.

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