[Pixman] [PATCH] Adding TLS for Windows XP

Soeren Sandmann sandmann at cs.au.dk
Wed Mar 30 06:19:58 PDT 2011


> It turned out that Windows XP does't support __declspec(thread).  In order to
> make a multi-thread safe app using pixman, we tried to add TLS for Windows XP.
> We have added using TLS primitives and tried to avoid memory leak during
> cleaning up.

I'm of two minds regarding this patch. On the one hand, it's definitely
good to get these TLS issues under control on Windows, so thanks for
looking at that.

On the other hand, I really don't want to export new API that an
application has to call simply for correct operation.

If you use pixman through cairo, for example, it is currently completely
safe to ignore pixman's existence. This is an important guarantee to
give because it allows us to update the pixman ABI at a later point
without affecting cairo applications.

Or suppose some other library has spawned a thread that uses pixman for
compositing. In general, the application has no way to know when that
thread exited so it can't know when to call these new functions.

Since you mention that __declspec(thread) doesn't work on XP, I assume
you are using pixman in a dynamically linked DLL. If so, a way to solve
your issue without adding new API might be to add a DllMain() function
and then clean up the thread local storage when it is called with

Another possibility would be to avoid TLS altogether and instead just
use global variables protected by locks. Lock striping could be used to
prevent (CPU-)cache thrashing.

Regarding which variation of TLS works on which versions of Windows,
there are several separate variables:

- Whether the binary is statically or dynamically linked

- Which compiler is used (MSVC vs. MinGW32 4.5 vs. MinGW32 4.4)

- Which operating system is used (XP/2003 vs. later)

- Which variation of TLS (__thread, __declspec(thread), DllMain() + TlsAlloc*)

- Whether the operating system is 32 or 64 bit

It would be really useful to have a table of these combinations showing
what works and what doesn't. That will make it much simpler to decide
which combinations can actually be reasonably supported without
requiring new public API.

See also 


Regardless of all that, though, this patch clearly needs cleaning up
according to the CODING_STYLE document.


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