[vdr] Thread start functions and external C linkage (VDR starts it's threads "incorrectly")

Klaus Schmidinger Klaus.Schmidinger at cadsoft.de
Sun Feb 12 12:16:13 CET 2006

Sascha Volkenandt wrote:
> Hi everyone, hi Klaus,
> while discussing a paper about multithreading with pthreads, some people 
> pointed out that it is not legal regarding standard C++ when using a static 
> member of a class as a thread start function.
> The reason is that a thread start function handed to pthread_create MUST have 
> external C linkage, which is not guaranteed to be the case with static 
> members. In fact, many compilers declare such members with the same calling 
> conventions that an extern "C" function uses, but the standard doesn't 
> require this. Indeed, there are (according to external informations) 
> compilers that act differently here.
> To fulfill the requirements of the standard, VDR's thread start function 
> should have the following signature:
> extern "C" void *StartThread(cThread *Thread);
> class cThread {
>   friend void *StartThread(cThread *Thread);
>   /* ... */
> };

This would allow anybody to do

   cThread t;

which I don't think would be a good thing to do.

Any ideas how to prevent this from happening?


> Don't get me wrong, this is not a problem with current gcc versions, but... 
> Since the standard doesn't require gcc to behave the way it does, future 
> changes to the ABI could affect this region and could render current code 
> unfunctional...
> Even worse, some implementations of pthread lack a construct that declares the 
> members of pthread.h extern "C" when compiled in C++ mode. (But this won't be 
> a problem here I guess, since I suppose VDR won't run on AIX, so, just for 
> the record).

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