Locking data

Sjoerd Nijboer sjoerdnijboer at gmail.com
Tue May 22 23:09:24 UTC 2018

On Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 22:17:05 UTC, IntegratedDimensions 
> On Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 22:10:52 UTC, Alex wrote:
>> On Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 21:45:07 UTC, IntegratedDimensions 
>> wrote:
>>> an idea to lock data by removing the reference:
>>> class A
>>> {
>>>    Lockable!Data data;
>>> }
>>> The idea is that when the data is going to be used, the user 
>>> locks the data. The trick here is that data is a pointer to 
>>> the data and the pointer is set to null when locked so no 
>>> other data can use it(they see a null reference). To unlock, 
>>> the data is reassigned:
>>> auto d = data.lock(); // A.data is now null deals with sync 
>>> issues
>>> //use d
>>> d = data.unlock(d); // restores A.data (A.data = d;) and sets 
>>> d to null so any future reference is an error(could produce 
>>> bugs but should mostly be access violations)
>>> Anyone else trying to use data will see that it is null while 
>>> it is locked.
>>> This basically pushes the standard locking mechanisms in to 
>>> the Lockable!data(first come first serve) and code that has 
>>> not captured the data see's it simply as null.
>>> Anyone use know if there exists an idiom like this and what 
>>> it is called? Maybe some idiomatic code that is efficient?
>>> Ideally I'd want to be able to treat the Lockable!Data as 
>>> Data. Right now I have to classes(or pointers to structs) and 
>>> few weird hacks. I think what I'll have to end up doing is 
>>> having a Locked!Data structure that is returned instead or 
>>> use an UFCS. The idea being to attach the lock and unlock 
>>> methods.
>> Are you aware of NullableRef?
>> https://dlang.org/library/std/typecons/nullable_ref.html
> Yes.
>> Does it fit somehow?
> Not really. It could be used to wrap the data when used as a 
> struct but it offers none of the locking features which is the 
> ultimate goal.
> The idea is simply that one can lock the data to get exclusive 
> access. Normally standard locking tricks are used but in this 
> case the idea is to do all that behind the scenes. Locking the 
> data makes all other accessors see null data(and crash or 
> properly test). This is a first come first serve or single 
> access type of pattern but sort of removes the data from prying 
> eyes while it is being used.

how about something like

  import core.atomic;
  class Lockable!Data
     private __gshared Lockable!Data data;

  struct Locked!Lockable!Data
     private TailShared!Lockable!Data lockedData;
     private Lockable!Data lockableData;

     this(Lockable!Data lockableData)
         this.lockableData = lockableData;
         while( (lockedData= atomicLoad(lockableData)) !is null)
             if(cas(lockedData, lockedData, null))

         atomicStore(lockedData, lockableData );

     alias lockedData.data this;

With something like this you should be able to do RAII like 
semantics on your data.
You share a Lockable!Data which you want use, and then you can 
access it if you instantiate a Locked!Lockable!Data struct with 
FYI, my atomics isn't all that great so don't expect this to work.

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