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Re: Are there plans for a multi-threaded Emacs?

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: Are there plans for a multi-threaded Emacs?
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 07:06:06 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (usg-unix-v)

On Fri, 05 Dec 2003, address@hidden wrote:

> Reading or writing are blocking operations, so they would be
> executed in parallel anyway.

Right, but if the read or write don't need to block the UI thread, why
should they?  Take for example auto-save files.  When I'm editing a
large document on a NFS filesystem, Emacs often will pause completely
while auto-saving the document.  If a separate thread or process could
auto-save the document while I could keep working, that would be very
nice.  It wouldn't add new functionality, but it would improve the
user experience.

> This is actually an argument against fine grained locking too: When
> much code contend for the same resources and those are covered by
> many small locks, much time will be spent in context switching due
> to outlocking.

Yes, this is why Solaris is so slow on single-processor machines also.
Fine-grained locking exacts a baseline penalty.  Multi-threading may
need to be a completely separate branch of Emacs, if it ever happens.


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