[Pharo-project] Fwd: [vwnc] Would you start a new Smalltalk project today?

Schwab,Wilhelm K bschwab at anest.ufl.edu
Sun Mar 22 19:06:39 EDT 2009

Semaphores and Mutexes are the lower level tools.  **Critical sections** implemented in terms of blocks are the fantastic part.

The little that I know about functional languages and their immutable data structures suggests that a LOT of copying occurs.  That has to be expensive in terms of scheduling and memory footprint.


Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.
bschwab AT anest DOT ufl DOT edu 

-----Original Message-----
From: pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr [mailto:pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr] On Behalf Of Antony Blakey
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 5:40 PM
To: Pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr
Subject: Re: [Pharo-project] Fwd: [vwnc] Would you start a new Smalltalk project today?

On 23/03/2009, at 7:37 AM, Michael van der Gulik wrote:

> Anybody who relies on the behaviour of the scheduler deserves to be 
> forced to program in BASIC. Semaphores work; use them.

And they work with native threads, which was my point. A more pedantic answer to your response is that you take advantage of the scheduler all the time when considering priorities and atomicity, but I agree with the intent of your statement.

> Smalltalk, the language rather than the implementation, already has 
> fantastic support for concurrency. Smalltalkers just don't know how to 
> use it. We don't need to rethink the model, we just need to learn to 
> use what we have.

Mutexes and semaphores are hardly 'fantastic'. The state of the art in support for concurrency is way beyond what Smalltalk provides - locking is both primitive and generally not scalable.

Antony Blakey
CTO, Linkuistics Pty Ltd
Ph: 0438 840 787

There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things...  
Whenever his enemies have the ability to attack the innovator, they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly, So that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.
   -- Niccolo Machiavelli, 1513, The Prince.

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