Thinking Parallel

A Blog on Parallel Programming and Concurrency by Michael Suess

News for Week 25/2007

NewsIts been a while since I have done my last news roundup and some very interesting posts/articles have been produced during that time. Especially in the week that I have been away to Beijing. Go figure, when I am away for one week, everyone is talking about multicores and concurrency. But on the other hand as always, most of the posts shown here have not been produced yesterday (I am not that current in my reporting ;-)), but are worth reading even after some time has passed. And now enough of the preface, here are the articles that have managed to catch my attention:

  • David Fayram writes about Multicore Hardware and the Future of Ruby. He thinks Ruby needs a threading system, if not today then maybe tomorrow. David Heinemeier Hansson disagrees, because he thinks the problem of concurrency is solved for web-applications. I tend to agree. If all you ever want to use Ruby for is for serving requests for webpages as fast as possible (probably using Rails), you don’t need a threading system. This is called throughput computing and that problem appears to be solved. I am not so sure what happens as soon as you try to use Ruby in a different context…
  • There is talk about the The Faint Signals of Concurrency at O’Reilly. If you are a regular reader of this blog, most of the arguments presented there are probably not news, but its still nice to see them picked up by a more mainstream site. Be sure to also read the comments, since they correct some mistakes in the original article (e.g. the assumption that Moore’s law is coming to an end – it isn’t, the problem is merely that many people think it talks about clock speeds, while it is really about transistor counts, which are still increasing happily atm.).
  • Not exactly hot off the press, but still worth reading: there is an interview with Cliff Click, Azul’s Chief JVM Architect over at Ed Burnette’s blog. Sometimes it sounds a little much like a sales pitch to me, but since an interview is never really objective…
  • We are going even further down memory lane with this post on Enfranchised Mind about Parallelism in General. It feels good to see a well-balanced and thought out analysis of message passing vs. shared memory once in a while (and I fully agree here: both have their place). I am not so sure I agree with the ultimate conclusion drawn in the article: that parallelism will push functional languages into the mainstream. I somehow doubt this will ever happen, although I have a soft spot in my heart for these languages. Yet, they are just so different from what programmers are used to today I somehow doubt programmers are going to adapt to them in large numbers.
  • Not exactly related to parallel programming, but the ever helpful Jeff Atwood over at Coding Horror reminds us of the classic mistakes in software development. Very worth reviewing from time to time!

Thats it for this week, thanks for sticking around, folks!

3 Responses to News for Week 25/2007


  1. Comment by Robert Fischer | 2007/06/28 at 14:56:38

    Hey there — just a note, but our permalink structure changed. The post on parallelism is now at:

    You can also follow the trackback to my follow-up post.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

  1. Pingback by Enfranchised Mind » Functional Language Adoption | 2007/06/28 at 14:48:41

    […] This is the continuation of a conversation started at Brian’s post on approaches to parallelism infrastructure, and continued at Thinking Parallel. […]

  2. Pingback by Ruby on Grids at Bleeding Edge Biotech | 2007/07/20 at 06:35:14

    […] Multicore Hardware and the Future of Ruby Multi-core hysteria and the thread confusion News for Week 25/2007 […]

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