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Re: Concurrency, again

From: John Wiegley
Subject: Re: Concurrency, again
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 09:42:01 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.130014 (Ma Gnus v0.14) Emacs/25.1.50 (darwin)

>>>>> "SM" == Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

SM> IOW, I completely agree with Eli: we should fix the few remaining issues
SM> with the concurrency branch and merge it into master.

I very strongly disagree. I think "merge what we have and make it work" is the
wrong approach. I'd rather not have threading for the next 20 years, than
choose the only option available because it's the only one we have. I'd like
more time to think about this problem myself before making such a hard-to-
revert decision.

Look at what happened with curly quotes: seemingly simple, it got merged into
master "as an experiment". Then witness how many little issues kept popping up
everywhere, how much debate on this list, all for something I'm sure many
thought was totally benign. Now we're talking about doing the same with
something as open-ended as threading?

What could be done to gain experience, as Eli suggests, is maintain a parallel
fork, the way Firefox is doing with their e10s support. That is, build a
version of Emacs with threading enabled and, for a couple of years, release it
in parallel with the main Emacs. Then pick one candidate package, say Gnus,
and have it demonstrate that threading makes everyone's life better, without
making things worse for the rest of us.

If that's too much work to do, my guess is that it's too much work to maintain
threading with the contributors we now have. My prediction is that it will
increase our workload, since a new class of bugs will appear that are much
harder to reproduce and reason about than the sorts of issues we face now.

John Wiegley                  GPG fingerprint = 4710 CF98 AF9B 327B B80F
http://newartisans.com                          60E1 46C4 BD1A 7AC1 4BA2

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