4 Easy Tips for Using Threads and Mutexes in C++

4 Easy Tips for Using Threads and Mutexes in C++

In this article, I will go over four tips for using threads and mutexes in C++. The interfaces discussed here are those defined in the C++11 standard of the language. Prior to C++11, threads were not formally defined in the language and only OS-specific thread interfaces such as posix threads could be used.

C++ is a great programming language that’s generally associated with fast performance, custom memory management, and pointers. However, some of the most important and less-talked-about components of the language are threads and mutexes. Perhaps one of the most powerful features of C++ is possessing a wide range of control and precision over the execution of multiple concurrent threads and sharing resources safely between those threads. The web browser you are viewing this on right now uses multiple threads to facilitate multiple actions or displays simultaneously.

In this article, I will go over four tips for using threads and mutexes in C++. The interfaces discussed here are those defined in the C++11 standard of the language. Prior to C++11, threads were not formally defined in the language and only OS-specific thread interfaces such as posix threads could be used.

1. Threads Aren’t Disposable — You Have to Join Them Back Together!

A common mistake made by those new to multithreading is believing that the function passed to a new thread being created is similar to just calling another function. It’s not. Let’s take a look at the seemingly benign program below:

#include <iostream>
#include <thread>

void doStuff()
{
  int x = 5;
  while(x--)
       std::cout << "Doing stuff\n";
}

int main() {
  std::thread t1(&doStuff);
}

technology software-engineering programming software-development c++

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