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Introduction to Concurrent Programming

Introduction to Concurrent Programming

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Concurrent Programming Lecture by Rob Pike Lecture 1
Concurrent Programming Lecture by Rob Pike Lecture 1

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Published by: newtonapple on Jun 15, 2010
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Introduction to ConcurrentProgramming
Rob PikeComputing Sciences Research CenterBell LabsLucent Technologies
February 2, 2000
The world runs in parallel, but our usual model of softwaredoes not.Programming languages are sequential.This mismatch makes it hard to write systems software thatprovides the interface between a computer (or user) and theworld.Solutions: processes, threads, concurrency, semaphores, spinlocks, message-passing.But how do we use these things?Real problem: need an approach to writing concurrentsoftware that guides our design and implementation.We will present our model for designing concurrent software.It’s been used in several languages for over a decade,producing everything from symbolic algebra packages towindow systems.This course is not about parallel algorithms or usingmultiprocessors to run programs faster.It is about using thepower of processes and communication to design elegant,responsive, reliable systems.
History (Biased towards Systems)
Dijkstra: guarded commands, 1976.Hoare: Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP), (paper)1978.Run multiple communicating guarded command sets inparallel.Hoare: CSP Book, 1985.Addition of channels to the model,rather than directly talking to processes.Cardelli and Pike: Squeak, 1983.Application of CSP modelto user interfaces.Pike: Concurrent Window System, (paper) 1988.Applicationof Squeak approach to systems software.Pike: Newsqueak, 1989.Interpreted language; used to writetoy window system.Winterbottom: Alef, 1994.True compiled concurrentlanguage, used to write production systems software.Mullender: Thread library, 1999.Retrofit to C for generalusability.

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