"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

It's Fiddly

"Mental" writes in a comment (i've started a new post) to my rant on transactional memory...

I was having fun implementing STM until I realized that I was able to implement the Actor model correctly in a few hours, versus several weeks for getting the fiddly aspects of STM down.
Good tag line... "Transactional Memory: It's Fiddly!!!"

Here's the entire comment because I like it...

Having written several implementations of both STM and various message-passing-based concurrency models for Ruby lately, I'm a lot less sunny on STM than I used to be even a few weeks ago.

I was having fun implementing STM until I realized that I was able to implement the Actor model correctly in a few hours, versus several weeks for getting the fiddly aspects of STM down.

The biggest immediate problem for STM is starvation -- a large transaction can just keep retrying, and I'm not sure there is a way to address that without breaking composability. ...and composability is the whole raison d'etre of STM in the first place.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.