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developerWorks: Use Reentrant Functions for Safer Signal Handling

Jan 24, 2005, 05:30 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dipak K. Jha)


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"In the early days of programming, non-reentrancy was not a threat to programmers; functions did not have concurrent access and there were no interrupts. In many older implementations of the C language, functions were expected to work in an environment of single-threaded processes.

"Now, however, concurrent programming is common practice, and you need to be aware of the pitfalls. This article describes some potential problems due to non-reentrancy of the function in parallel and concurrent programming. Signal generation and handling in particular add extra complexity. Due to the asynchronous nature of signals, it is difficult to point out the bug caused when a signal-handling function triggers a non-reentrant function..."

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