A lock statement with timeout...

code comments suggest edit

Found this interesting post via Eric Gunnerson’s blog (PM for the C# compliler team) blog.

using (TimedLock.Lock(obj)) {
  // Do stuf within the lock

It’s an interesting approach to get a lock statement with a time out. It would be nice to perhaps add a timeout syntax to the lock statement in C#. Maybe it would look like this:

object obj = new object();
int milliseconds = 10000;
    lock(obj, milliseconds)
    	//Do something with obj
catch(LockTimeOutException exception)
  //Handle exception

One thought I had, and let me know if I’m off base, but it seems we could add debug code to Ian Griffith’s TimedLock class to “register” locks on an object. This would only happen if you conditionally compiled with #DEBUG, but the idea is that when a class gets a TimedLock on an object, TimedLock would add information (such as the call stack and thread id) to a hashtable with the object as a key. Thus, if another class attempts to get a lock on the object and times out, the exception could have information about who had a lock on the object. May be useful for debugging deadlock situations.

Ian Griffiths comes up with an interesting way to use IDisposable and the “using“ statement to get a very of lock with timeout.

I like the approach, but there are two ways to improve it:

​1) Define TimedLock as a struct instead of a class, so that there’s no heap allocation involved.

​2) Implement Dispose() with a public implementation rather than a private one. If that’s the case, the compiler will call Dispose() directly, otherwise it will box to the IDisposable interface before calling Dispose().

UPDATE: I implemented the stack traces retrieval. Check out my TimedLock repository for the code and history of this class.