Fernando J. Pereda’s blag

May 25, 2010

iostreams are VERY thread-unsafe on Mac OS X

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 8:19 am

This was both surprising and disgusting. Our in-house data acquisition software needs to convert lots of floats to ascii so that they can ve viewed in real time. This is very easy to do with a stringify-like function like the one found in paludis/paludis/util/stringify.hh.

stringify looks trivial, there’s no shared state nor there is any static data, so I thought that I could call stringify from several threads at the same time. I don’t think there’s any guarantee about thread safety of ostringstream’s operator<< but it looked like a safe assumption. Well, incorrect.

operator<< calls vsnprintf, which should be thread-safe by itself. However, OSX's vsnprintf ultimately calls localeconv_l, which is not thread-safe. And, you end up with something like this:

#0 0x96f734a9 in malloc_error_break ()
#1 0x96f6e497 in szone_error ()
#2 0x96e98503 in szone_free ()
#3 0x96e9836d in free ()
#4 0x96e97f24 in localeconv_l ()
#5 0x96e93335 in __vfprintf ()
#6 0x96ecb9b5 in vsnprintf ()
#7 0x0144615e in std::__convert_from_v ()
#8 0x01437d2a in std::num_put<char, std::ostreambuf_iterator<char, std::char_traits > >::_M_insert_float ()
#9 0x0143803d in std::num_put<char, std::ostreambuf_iterator<char, std::char_traits > >::do_put ()
#10 0x0144ab6a in std::ostream::_M_insert ()
#11 0x0000fb25 in std::basic_ostringstream<char, std::char_traits, std::allocator >::str () at sstream:217

Which means there’s no way of converting stuff to human readable in a thread-safe manner. I’m not sure whether I’m missing something or not… but this looks very fishy. I ended up adding a stupid big mutex around my stringify calls, but that looks more like a workaround that a final solution to the problem. Plus, this doesn’t protect ANY other uses of iostream’s operator<< such as loggers.

Ok… looks like that wasn’t a very accurate diagnostic. This is going to be more annoying than I thought.

— ferdy

May 10, 2009


Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 11:18 pm

For SpaceFish I wanted a quick way to load a 3D model and be able to rotate it easily. This, along with an artificial horizon is a nice way to see the attitude of the plane while it is far to see it. It is also quite good to replay recorded data during experiments to study it further in the lab.

Since I haven’t really done anything in OpenGL beyond stupid examples and helloworld-like programs and given that I don’t have much time to devote to this task I decided to use an existing framework. Among Irrlicht, OpenSceneGraph and Ogre. I decided to give OpenSceneGraph a try, for no particular reason.

Unfortunately, it took a while to get it working under OSX… it needs something like this. I use MacPorts for this kind of stuff under OSX:

	local lib_dir=/opt/local/lib
	pushd ${lib_dir} > /dev/null
	echo pushd ${lib_dir}
	for i in libosg*.dylib* libOpenThreads*.dylib* ; do
		echo install_name_tool -id ${lib_dir}/${i} ${i}
		otool -L ${i} | sed -e 1d | while read f ; do
			if [[ ${f} =~ ^libosg ]] || [[ ${f} =~ ^libOpenThreads ]] ; then
				l=${f%% *}
				echo install_name_tool -change ${l} ${lib_dir}/${l} ${i}
	popd > /dev/null
	echo popd
	port contents OpenSceneGraph |
		sed -n -e '/^[[:space:]]*\/opt\/local\/bin\//p' -e '/\.so/p' |
		while read f ; do
		otool -L ${f} | sed -e 1d | while read d ; do
			if [[ ${d} =~ ^libosg ]] || [[ ${d} =~ ^libOpenThreads ]] ; then
				l=${d%% *}
				echo install_name_tool -change ${l} ${lib_dir}/${l} ${f}

It wasn’t fun to figure that out (thank you CMake)…

Anyway, I think I’ll stick to OpenSceneGraph until it annoys me enough. For now, I managed to do what I wanted in less than 2 hours, which is pretty good when you have a stupidly tight schedule.

— ferdy

September 15, 2008

iPhoto movies in FrontRow

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 5:33 pm

Ok, so we all know that Apple makes software, and that its software is sometimes full of fail:

Even if their software usually integrates nicely, it really irritates me that some details are completely left out. For instance, iPhoto will import and manage movies from a digital camera. Then, when you are going to show the photos to the family with, for instance, FrontRow, the movies won’t come up. They’ll be ignored in the ‘Photos’ tab, and nothing will show up on the ‘Movies’ tab either.

Oh well, bash comes to the rescue:

	local DEST="${HOME}/Movies/iPhoto Movies/" d
	rm -rf "${DEST}"
	mkdir "${DEST}"
	find "${HOME}/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/" \
		-iname '*.avi' -or -iname '*.mov' | while read f ; do
		mkdir "${d}" 2>/dev/null
		ln "${f}" "${d}"

I just hate to have to do this by hand.

— ferdy

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