Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Concurrency Aspects

The new issue of the ACM Queue got the “The Concurrency Problem” on the front page. One article is about the programming language Erlang which has the ability to solve parallel problems by design. Another excellent contribution (Real World Concurrency) is about the why and when and tries to nullify any taste of black magic. I totally agree that developers should not feel forced to use parallelization by implementation in any scenario. Performance is the main objective when parallelization is considered. But there are different ways to achieve this (and not just by using threads and locks [lets call this multithreaded code] within one process). The author calls this approach concurrency by architecture. I can live with that perception perfectly. Furthermore, a lot of hints and pitfalls are listed in order to handle locks, threads, mutexes, semaphores, and debugging in the correct way which includes good advice how to identify the right code segments for parallelization. Must read (*****)!

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