This section discusses not re-loading of code. Initial loading of code is discussed in section 188.8.131.52.
As of version 5.5.30, there is basic thread-safety for reloading source files while other threads are executing code defined in these source files. Reloading a file freezes all threads after marking the active predicates originating from the file being reloaded. The threads are resumed after the file has been loaded. In addition, after completing loading the outermost file, the system runs garbage_collect_clauses/0.
What does that mean? Unfortunately it does not mean we can `hot-swap' modules. Consider the case where thread A is executing the recursive predicate P. We `fix' P and reload. The already running goals for P continue to run the old definition, but new recursive calls will use the new definition! Many similar cases can be constructed with dependent predicates.
It provides some basic security for reloading files in multithreaded applications during development. In the above scenario the system does not crash uncontrolled, but behaves like any broken program: it may return the wrong bindings, wrong truth value or raise an exception.
Future versions may have an `update now' facility. Such a facility can be implemented on top of the logical update view. It would allow threads to do a controlled update between processing independent jobs.