Boost C++ Libraries

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Class execution_context (version 2)

[Warning] Warning

execution_context is deprecated.

[Note] Note

Include execution_context.hpp and pass BOOST_EXECUTION_CONTEXT=2 and property context-switch=ec to b2 command-line in order to use execution_context (v2).

[Note] Note

Segmented stacks (segmented-stacks=on), e.g. on demand growing stacks, are not supported by execution_context (v2).

Class execution_context encapsulates context switching and manages the associated context' stack (allocation/deallocation).

execution_context allocates the context stack (using its StackAllocator argument) and creates a control structure on top of it. This structure is responsible for managing context' stack. The address of the control structure is stored in the first frame of context' stack (e.g. it can not directly accessed from within execution_context). In contrast to execution_context (v1) the ownership of the control structure is not shared (no member variable to control structure in execution_context). execution_context keeps internally a state that is moved by a call of execution_context::operator() (*this will be invalidated), e.g. after a calling execution_context::operator(), *this can not be used for an additional context switch.

execution_context is only move-constructible and move-assignable.

The moved state is assigned to a new instance of execution_context. This object becomes the first argument of the context-function, if the context was resumed the first time, or the first element in a tuple returned by execution_context::operator() that has been called in the resumed context. In contrast to execution_context (v1), the context switch is faster because no global pointer etc. is involved.

[Important] Important

Segmented stacks are not supported by execution_context (v2).

On return the context-function of the current context has to specify an execution_context to which the execution control is transferred after termination of the current context.

If an instance with valid state goes out of scope and the context-function has not yet returned, the stack is traversed in order to access the control structure (address stored at the first stack frame) and context' stack is deallocated via the StackAllocator. The stack walking makes the destruction of execution_context slow and should be prevented if possible.

execution_context expects a context-function with signature execution_context(execution_context ctx, Args ... args). The parameter ctx represents the context from which this context was resumed (e.g. that has called execution_context::operator() on *this) and args are the data passed to execution_context::operator(). The return value represents the execution_context that has to be resumed, after termiantion of this context.

Benefits of execution_context (v2) over execution_context (v1) are: faster context switch, type-safety of passed/returned arguments.

usage of execution_context

int n=35;
ctx::execution_context<int> source(
    [n](ctx::execution_context<int> && sink,int) mutable {
        int a=0;
        int b=1;
        while(n-->0){
            auto result=sink(a);
            sink=std::move(std::get<0>(result));
            auto next=a+b;
            a=b;
            b=next;
        }
        return std::move(sink);
    });
for(int i=0;i<10;++i){
    auto result=source(i);
    source=std::move(std::get<0>(result));
    std::cout<<std::get<1>(result)<<" ";
}

output:
    0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34

This simple example demonstrates the basic usage of execution_context as a generator. The context sink represents the main-context (function main() running). sink is generated by the framework (first element of lambda's parameter list). Because the state is invalidated (== changed) by each call of execution_context::operator(), the new state of the execution_context, returned by execution_context::operator(), needs to be assigned to sink after each call.

The lambda that calculates the Fibonacci numbers is executed inside the context represented by source. Calculated Fibonacci numbers are transferred between the two context' via expression sink(a) (and returned by source()). Note that this example represents a generator thus the value transferred into the lambda via source() is not used. Using boost::optional<> as transferred type, might also appropriate to express this fact.

The locale variables a, b and next remain their values during each context switch (yield(a)). This is possible due source has its own stack and the stack is exchanged by each context switch.

parameter passing

With execution_context<void> no data will be transferred, only the context switch is executed.

boost::context::execution_context<void> ctx1([](boost::context::execution_context<void> && ctx2){
            std::printf("inside ctx1\n");
            return ctx2();
        });
ctx1();

output:
    inside ctx1

ctx1() resumes ctx1, e.g. the lambda passed at the constructor of ctx1 is entered. Argument ctx2 represents the context that has been suspended with the invocation of ctx1(). When the lambda returns ctx2, context ctx1 will be terminated while the context represented by ctx2 is resumed, hence the control of execution returns from ctx1().

The arguments passed to execution_context::operator(), in one context, is passed as the last arguments of the context-function if the context is started for the first time. In all following invocations of execution_context::operator() the arguments passed to execution_context::operator(), in one context, is returned by execution_context::operator() in the other context.

boost::context::execution_context<int> ctx1([](boost::context::execution_context<int> && ctx2,int j){
            std::printf("inside ctx1,j==%d\n",j);
            std::tie(ctx2,j)=ctx2(j+1);
            return std::move(ctx2);
        });
int i=1;
std::tie(ctx1,i)=ctx1(i);
std::printf("i==%d\n",i);

output:
    inside ctx1,j==1
    i==2

ctx1(i) enters the lambda in context ctx1 with argument j=1. The expression ctx2(j+1) resumes the context represented by ctx2 and transfers back an integer of j+1. On return of ctx1(i), the variable i contains the value of j+1.

If more than one argument has to be transferred, the signature of the context-function is simply extended.

boost::context::execution_context<int,int> ctx1([](boost::context::execution_context<int,int> && ctx2,int i,int j){
            std::printf("inside ctx1,i==%d,j==%d\n",i,j);
            std::tie(ctx2,i,j)=ctx2(i+j,i-j);
            return std::move(ctx2);
        });
int i=2,j=1;
std::tie(ctx1,i,j)=ctx1(i,j);
std::printf("i==%d,j==%d\n",i,j);

output:
    inside ctx1,i==2,j==1
    i==3,j==1

For use-cases, that require to transfer data of different type in each direction, boost::variant<> could be used.

class X{
private:
    std::exception_ptr excptr_;
    boost::context::execution_context<boost::variant<int,std::string>> ctx_;

public:
    X():
        excptr_(),
        ctx_([=](boost::context::execution_context<boost::variant<int,std::string>> && ctx,boost::variant<int,std::string> data){
                try {
                    for (;;) {
                        int i=boost::get<int>(data);
                        data=boost::lexical_cast<std::string>(i);
                        auto result=ctx(data);
                        ctx=std::move(std::get<0>(result));
                        data=std::get<1>(result);
                } catch (std::bad_cast const&) {
                    excptr_=std::current_exception();
                }
                return std::move(ctx);
             })
    {}

    std::string operator()(int i){
        boost::variant<int,std::string> data=i;
        auto result=ctx_(data);
        ctx_=std::move(std::get<0>(result));
        data=std::get<1>(result);
        if(excptr_){
            std::rethrow_exception(excptr_);
        }
        return boost::get<std::string>(data);
    }
};

X x;
std::cout << x(7) << std::endl;

output:
7

In the case of unidirectional transfer of data, boost::optional<> or a pointer are appropriate.

exception handling

If the function executed inside a execution_context emits ans exception, the application is terminated by calling std::terminate(). std::exception_ptr can be used to transfer exceptions between different execution contexts.

[Important] Important

Do not jump from inside a catch block and then re-throw the exception in another execution context.

Executing function on top of a context

Sometimes it is useful to execute a new function on top of a resumed context. For this purpose execution_context::operator() with first argument exec_ontop_arg has to be used. The function passed as argument must return a tuple of execution_context and arguments.

boost::context::execution_context<int> f1(boost::context::execution_context<int> && ctx,int data) {
    std::cout << "f1: entered first time: " << data << std::endl;
    std::tie(ctx,data)=ctx(data+1);
    std::cout << "f1: entered second time: " << data << std::endl;
    std::tie(ctx,data)=ctx(data+1);
    std::cout << "f1: entered third time: " << data << std::endl;
    return std::move(ctx);
}

int f2(int data) {
    std::cout << "f2: entered: " << data << std::endl;
    return -1;
}

int data=0;
boost::context::execution_context< int > ctx(f1);
std::tie(ctx,data)=ctx(data+1);
std::cout << "f1: returned first time: " << data << std::endl;
std::tie(ctx,data)=ctx(data+1);
std::cout << "f1: returned second time: " << data << std::endl;
std::tie(ctx,data)=ctx(ctx::exec_ontop_arg,f2,data+1);

output:
    f1: entered first time: 1
    f1: returned first time: 2
    f1: entered second time: 3
    f1: returned second time: 4
    f2: entered: 5
    f1: entered third time: -1

The expression ctx(ctx::exec_ontop_arg,f2,data+1) executes f2() on top of context ctx, e.g. an additional stack frame is allocated on top of the context stack (in front of f1()). f2() returns argument -1 that will returned by the second invocation of ctx(data+1) in f1(). [/ Another option is to execute a function on top of the context that throws an exception. The thrown exception is catched and re-thrown as nested exception of ontop_error from execution_context::operator(). ontop_error gives access to the context that has resumed the current context.

struct my_exception : public std::runtime_error {
    my_exception( std::string const& what) :
        std::runtime_error{ what } {
    }
};

boost::context::execution_context<void> ctx([](boost::context::execution_context<void> && ctx) {
    for (;;) {
        try {
                std::cout << "entered" << std::endl;
                ctx = ctx();
            }
        } catch ( boost::context::ontop_error const& e) {
            try {
                std::rethrow_if_nested( e);
            } catch ( my_exception const& ex) {
                std::cerr << "my_exception: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
            }
            return e.get_context< void >();
        }
    }
    return std::move( ctx);
});
ctx = ctx();
ctx = ctx();
ctx = ctx( boost::context::exec_ontop_arg,[](){ throw my_exception{ "abc" }; });

output:
    entered
    entered
    my_exception: abc

In this exception my_exception is throw from a function invoked ontop of context ctx and catched inside the for-loop.

stack unwinding

On construction of execution_context a stack is allocated. If the context-function returns the stack will be destructed. If the context-function has not yet returned and the destructor of an valid execution_context instance (e.g. execution_context::operator bool() returns true) is called, the stack will be destructed too.

[Important] Important

Code executed by context-function must not prevent the propagation of the detail::forced_unwind exception. Absorbing that exception will cause stack unwinding to fail. Thus, any code that catches all exceptions must re-throw any pending detail::forced_unwind exception.

allocating control structures on top of stack

Allocating control structures on top of the stack requires to allocated the stack_context and create the control structure with placement new before execution_context is created.

[Note] Note

The user is responsible for destructing the control structure at the top of the stack.

// stack-allocator used for (de-)allocating stack
fixedsize_stack salloc(4048);
// allocate stack space
stack_context sctx(salloc.allocate());
// reserve space for control structure on top of the stack
void * sp=static_cast<char*>(sctx.sp)-sizeof(my_control_structure);
std::size_t size=sctx.size-sizeof(my_control_structure);
// placement new creates control structure on reserved space
my_control_structure * cs=new(sp)my_control_structure(sp,size,sctx,salloc);
...
// destructing the control structure
cs->~my_control_structure();
...
struct my_control_structure  {
    // captured context
    execution_context cctx;

    template< typename StackAllocator >
    my_control_structure(void * sp,std::size_t size,stack_context sctx,StackAllocator salloc) :
        // create captured context
        cctx(std::allocator_arg,preallocated(sp,size,sctx),salloc,entry_func) {
    }
    ...
};

inverting the control flow

/*
 * grammar:
 *   P ---> E '\0'
 *   E ---> T {('+'|'-') T}
 *   T ---> S {('*'|'/') S}
 *   S ---> digit | '(' E ')'
 */
class Parser{
    // implementation omitted; see examples directory
};

std::istringstream is("1+1");
bool done=false;
std::exception_ptr except;

// execute parser in new execution context
boost::context::execution_context<char> source(
        [&is,&done,&except](ctx::execution_context<char> && sink,char){
        // create parser with callback function
        Parser p( is,
                  [&sink](char ch){
                        // resume main execution context
                        auto result=sink(ch);
                        sink=std::move(std::get<0>(result));
                });
            try {
                // start recursive parsing
                p.run();
            } catch (...) {
                // store other exceptions in exception-pointer
                except=std::current_exception();
            }
            // set termination flag
            done=true;
            // resume main execution context
            return std::move(sink);
        });

// user-code pulls parsed data from parser
// invert control flow
auto result=source('\0');
source=std::move(std::get<0>(result));
char c=std::get<1>(result);
if (except) {
    std::rethrow_exception(except);
}
while(!done) {
    printf("Parsed: %c\n",c);
    std::tie(source,c)=source('\0');
    if (except) {
        std::rethrow_exception(except);
    }
}

output:
    Parsed: 1
    Parsed: +
    Parsed: 1

In this example a recursive descent parser uses a callback to emit a newly passed symbol. Using execution_context the control flow can be inverted, e.g. the user-code pulls parsed symbols from the parser - instead to get pushed from the parser (via callback).

The data (character) is transferred between the two execution_context.

If the code executed by execution_context emits an exception, the application is terminated. std::exception_ptr can be used to transfer exceptions between different execution contexts.

Sometimes it is necessary to unwind the stack of an unfinished context to destroy local stack variables so they can release allocated resources (RAII pattern). The user is responsible for this task.

Class execution_context

struct exec_ontop_arg_t {};
const exec_ontop_arg_t exec_ontop_arg{};

class ontop_error {
public:
    template< typename ... Args >
    execution_context< Args ... > get_context() const noexcept;
}

template< typename ... Args >
class execution_context {
public:
    template< typename Fn, typename ... Params >
    execution_context( Fn && fn, Params && ... params);

    template< typename StackAlloc, typename Fn, typename ... Params >
    execution_context( std::allocator_arg_t, StackAlloc salloc, Fn && fn, Params && ... params);

    template< typename StackAlloc, typename Fn, typename ... Params >
    execution_context( std::allocator_arg_t, preallocated palloc, StackAlloc salloc, Fn && fn, Params && ... params);

    template< typename Fn, typename ... Params >
    execution_context( std::allocator_arg_t, segemented_stack, Fn && fn, Params && ... params) = delete;

    template< typename Fn, typename ... Params >
    execution_context( std::allocator_arg_t, preallocated palloc, segmented, Fn && fn, Params && ... params)= delete;

    ~execution_context();

    execution_context( execution_context && other) noexcept;
    execution_context & operator=( execution_context && other) noexcept;

    execution_context( execution_context const& other) noexcept = delete;
    execution_context & operator=( execution_context const& other) noexcept = delete;

    explicit operator bool() const noexcept;
    bool operator!() const noexcept;

    std::tuple< execution_context, Args ... > operator()( Args ... args);

    template< typename Fn >
    std::tuple< execution_context, Args ... > operator()( exec_ontop_arg_t, Fn && fn, Args ... args);

    bool operator==( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

    bool operator!=( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

    bool operator<( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

    bool operator>( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

    bool operator<=( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

    bool operator>=( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

    template< typename charT, class traitsT >
    friend std::basic_ostream< charT, traitsT > &
    operator<<( std::basic_ostream< charT, traitsT > & os, execution_context const& other);
};

Constructor

template< typename Fn, typename ... Params >
execution_context( Fn && fn, Params && ... params);

template< typename StackAlloc, typename Fn, typename ... Params >
execution_context( std::allocator_arg_t, StackAlloc salloc, Fn && fn, Params && ... params);

template< typename StackAlloc, typename Fn, typename ... Params >
execution_context( std::allocator_arg_t, preallocated palloc, StackAlloc salloc, Fn && fn, Params && ... params);

Effects:

Creates a new execution context and prepares the context to execute fn. fixedsize_stack is used as default stack allocator (stack size == fixedsize_stack::traits::default_size()). The constructor with argument type preallocated, is used to create a user defined data (for instance additional control structures) on top of the stack.

Destructor

~execution_context();

Effects:

Destructs the associated stack if *this is a valid context, e.g. execution_context::operator bool() returns true.

Throws:

Nothing.

Move constructor

execution_context( execution_context && other) noexcept;

Effects:

Moves underlying capture record to *this.

Throws:

Nothing.

Move assignment operator

execution_context & operator=( execution_context && other) noexcept;

Effects:

Moves the state of other to *this using move semantics.

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator bool()

explicit operator bool() const noexcept;

Returns:

true if *this points to a capture record.

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator!()

bool operator!() const noexcept;

Returns:

true if *this does not point to a capture record.

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator()()

std::tuple< execution_context< Args ... >, Args ... > operator()( Args ... args); // member of generic execution_context template

execution_context< void > operator()(); // member of execution_context< void >

Effects:

Stores internally the current context data (stack pointer, instruction pointer, and CPU registers) of the current active context and restores the context data from *this, which implies jumping to *this's context. The arguments, ... args, are passed to the current context to be returned by the most recent call to execution_context::operator() in the same thread.

Returns:

The tuple of execution_context and returned arguments passed to the most recent call to execution_context::operator(), if any and a execution_context representing the context that has been suspended.

Note:

The returned execution_context indicates if the suspended context has terminated (return from context-function) via bool operator(). If the returned execution_context has terminated no data are transferred in the returned tuple.

Member function operator()()

template< typename Fn >
std::tuple< execution_context< Args ... >, Args ... > operator()( exec_ontop_arg_t, Fn && fn, Args ... args); // member of generic execution_context

template< typename Fn >
execution_context< void > operator()( exec_ontop_arg_t, Fn && fn); // member of execution_context< void >

Effects:

Same as execution_context::operator(). Additionally, function fn is executed in the context of *this (e.g. the stack frame of fn is allocated on stack of *this).

Returns:

The tuple of execution_context and returned arguments passed to the most recent call to execution_context::operator(), if any and a execution_context representing the context that has been suspended .

Note:

The tuple of execution_context and returned arguments from fn are passed as arguments to the context-function of resumed context (if the context is entered the first time) or those arguments are returned from execution_context::operator() within the resumed context.

Note:

Function fn needs to return a tuple of arguments (see description).

Note:

The context calling this function must not be destroyed before the arguments, that will be returned from fn, are preserved at least in the stack frame of the resumed context.

Note:

The returned execution_context indicates if the suspended context has terminated (return from context-function) via bool operator(). If the returned execution_context has terminated no data are transferred in the returned tuple.

Member function operator==()

bool operator==( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

Returns:

true if *this and other represent the same execution context, false otherwise.

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator!=()

bool operator!=( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

Returns:

! (other == * this)

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator<()

bool operator<( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

Returns:

true if *this != other is true and the implementation-defined total order of execution_context values places *this before other, false otherwise.

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator>()

bool operator>( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

Returns:

other < * this

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator<=()

bool operator<=( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

Returns:

! (other < * this)

Throws:

Nothing.

Member function operator>=()

bool operator>=( execution_context const& other) const noexcept;

Returns:

! (* this < other)

Throws:

Nothing.

Non-member function operator<<()

template< typename charT, class traitsT >
std::basic_ostream< charT, traitsT > &
operator<<( std::basic_ostream< charT, traitsT > & os, execution_context const& other);

Efects:

Writes the representation of other to stream os.

Returns:

os


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