Chapter 21. Threads and Synchronization

Thread are responsible for multitasking within a single application. The System.Threading namespace provides a wealth of classes and interfaces to manage multithreaded programming. The majority of programmers might never need to manage threads explicitly, however, because the CLR abstracts much of the threading support into classes that simplify most threading tasks.

The first part of this chapter shows you how to create, manage, and kill threads. Even if you don’t create your own threads explicitly, you’ll want to ensure that your code can handle multiple threads if it’s run in a multithreading environment. This concern is especially important if you are creating components that other programmers might use in a program that supports multithreading.

The second part of this chapter focuses on synchronization. When you have a limited resource (such as a database connection) you may need to restrict access to that resource to one thread at a time. A classic analogy is to a restroom on an airplane. You want to allow access to the restroom for only one person at a time. You do this by putting a lock on the door. When passengers want to use the restroom, they try the door handle; if it is locked, they either go away and do something else, or wait patiently in line with others who want access to the resource. When the resource becomes free, one person is taken off the line and given the resource, which is then locked again.

At times, various threads ...

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