AngelScript supports multithreading, though not yet on all platforms. You can determine if multithreading is supported on your platform by calling the asGetLibraryOptions function and checking the returned string for
"AS_NO_THREADS". If the identifier is in the returned string then multithreading is not supported.
Even if you don't want or can't use multithreading, you can still write applications that execute multiple scripts simultaneously.
Things to think about with a multithreaded environment
- If you plan on creating engines in multiple threads, the application should call asPrepareMultithread before the first engine is created, and asUnprepareMultithread after the last engine has been released. This is to avoid race conditions when the engine creates the internal shared thread manager. If only one script engine is used, then it is not necessary to do go through these extra steps.
- Always call asThreadCleanup before terminating a thread that accesses the script engine. If this is not done, the memory allocated specifically for that thread will be lost until the script engine is freed.
- If the application is composed of multiple application modules (dlls) then it may be necessary to share a single thread manager across the modules. Do this by calling asGetThreadManager in the main module and then call asPrepareMultithread on the secondary modules with the returned pointer.
- Multiple threads may execute scripts in separate contexts. The contexts may execute scripts from the same module, but if the module has global variables you need to make sure the scripts perform proper access control so that they do not get corrupted, if multiple threads try to update them simultaneously.
- The engine will only allow one thread to build scripts at any one time, since this is something that changes the internal state of the engine and cannot safely be done in multiple threads simultaneously.
- Do not execute the garbage collector while other script threads are executed, as the garbage collector may be traversing the reference graph while the objects are modified by the other threads.
- Reference counters for objects that will be refered to by scripts in different threads must be thread safe in order to avoid race conditions as multiple threads attempt to update the same reference counter. The library provides a pair of functions to facilitate the implementation of thread safe reference counters. See asAtomicInc and asAtomicDec.
- Many of the add-ons are not thread safe. Either create your own or make sure you review the add-ons you wish to use to guarantee thread safety.
AngelScript can be used with fibers as well. However, as fibers are not real threads you need to be careful if multiple fibers need to execute scripts. AngelScript keeps track of active contexts by pushing and popping the context pointers on a stack. With fibers you can easily corrupt this stack if you do not pay attention to where and when script executions are performed.
Try to avoid switching fibers when a script is executing, instead you should suspend the current script execution and only switch to the other fiber when the context's Execute method returns. If you really must switch fibers while executing a script, then make sure the second fiber initiates and concludes its own script execution before switching back to the original fiber.