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Threading Support API
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Libc++ supports using multiple different threading models and configurations
to implement the threading parts of libc++, including ``<thread>`` and ``<mutex>``.
These different models provide entirely different interfaces from each
other. To address this libc++ wraps the underlying threading API in a new and
consistent API, which it uses internally to implement threading primitives.
The ``<__threading_support>`` header is where libc++ defines its internal
threading interface. It contains forward declarations of the internal threading
interface as well as definitions for the interface.
External Threading API and the ``<__external_threading>`` header
In order to support vendors with custom threading API's libc++ allows the
entire internal threading interface to be provided by an external,
vendor provided, header.
When ``_LIBCPP_HAS_THREAD_API_EXTERNAL`` is defined the ``<__threading_support>``
header simply forwards to the ``<__external_threading>`` header (which must exist).
It is expected that the ``<__external_threading>`` header provide the exact
interface normally provided by ``<__threading_support>``.
External Threading Library
libc++ can be compiled with its internal threading API delegating to an external
library. Such a configuration is useful for library vendors who wish to
distribute a thread-agnostic libc++ library, where the users of the library are
expected to provide the implementation of the libc++ internal threading API.
On a production setting, this would be achieved through a custom
``<__external_threading>`` header, which declares the libc++ internal threading
API but leaves out the implementation.
The ``-DLIBCXX_BUILD_EXTERNAL_THREAD_LIBRARY`` option allows building libc++ in
such a configuration while allowing it to be tested on a platform that supports
any of the threading systems (e.g. pthread) supported in ``__threading_support``
header. Therefore, the main purpose of this option is to allow testing of this
particular configuration of the library without being tied to a vendor-specific
threading system. This option is only meant to be used by libc++ library
Threading Configuration Macros
This macro is defined when libc++ is built without threading support. It
should not be manually defined by the user.
This macro is defined when libc++ should use the ``<__external_threading>``
header to provide the internal threading API. This macro overrides
This macro is defined when libc++ should use POSIX threads to implement the
internal threading API.
This macro is defined when libc++ should use Win32 threads to implement the
internal threading API.
This macro is defined when libc++ expects the definitions of the internal
threading API to be provided by an external library. When defined
``<__threading_support>`` will only provide the forward declarations and
typedefs for the internal threading API.
This macro is used to build an external threading library using the
``<__threading_support>``. Specifically it exposes the threading API
definitions in ``<__threading_support>`` as non-inline definitions meant to
be compiled into a library.