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

From: Luke A. Olbrish
Subject: Re: Are there plans for a multi-threaded Emacs?
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 15:37:56 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) Emacs/21.2 (gnu/linux)

Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:

> You and Stefan are right, I generalized too much.  I meant a specific
> type of application, and I think Emacs can be such.  I've given
> several examples of cases where multithreading or any sort of
> multitasking would help, and I've repeatedly explained why I think
> lightweight threads instead of heavyweight threads would be better
> (because of the tight coupling of applications and functions inside
> Emacs).  I think preemptive threading in particular will be the most
> useful implementation, but cooperative multithreading is a valid
> solution as well.

Lightweight threads versus heavyweight threads?  By lightweight do you
mean user space threads or green threads?  They tend to only provide a
nice abstraction for certain applications, as the operating system
will block the process if any of the user space threads block.  There
is significant evidence to show that event driven models are quite
efficient for single processor machines.  Read the paper: "Flash: an
Efficient and Portable Web Server".  The creators implement an event
driven model for web serving and get significantly better performance
than staple web servers like apache.  Even lightweight threads have
associated baggage with threading and it seems like people think
threading will magically create more processing power.

If you mean lightweight threads in the sense of a general OS
development trend to make OS threading more of a lightweight
operation, then its OS specific and independent of emacs.

Luke Anthony Olbrish

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