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    SubjectRe: Alan Cox quote? (was: Re: accounting for threads)
    ** Reply to message from Rob Landley <> on Tue, 19 Jun
    2001 14:18:03 -0400

    > 2) Not only did Linux not have threads (at all), it didn't plan to have
    > threads, and anybody who brought up the idea of threads was dismissed.
    > Considering this was long before clone, and SMP hardware was starting to come
    > into the high and and looked like it might wind up on the desktop eventually
    > (who knew MS would keep DOS around another ten years, unable to understand
    > two processors, to displays, two mice, two keyboards, and barely able to cope
    > with two hard drives under a 26 letter limit...)

    Amen. This is one of the reasons why I also prefer OS/2 over Linux.

    > So I wound up work at IBM doing OS/2 development for a couple years. On a
    > project called Feature Install, which was based on a subclassed folder in the
    > workplace shell (object oriented desktop).


    > When they made up a test object hierarchy
    > for all the components of the entire OS, it created so many threads the
    > system ran out and got completely hosed. I had a command line window open,
    > but couldn't RUN anything, since anything it tried to spawn required a thread
    > to run. (Child of the shell.)

    Feature Installer is a bad example. That software is a piece of crap for lots
    of reasons, excessive threading being only one, and every OS/2 user knew it the
    day it was released. Why do you think WarpIN was created?

    > Sometimes they're an easy way to get asynchronous behavior, and to perform
    > work in the background without the GUI being locked up. But the difference
    > between "processes" and "threads" there is academic. Processes with shared
    > memory and some variant of semaphores to avoid killing each other in it.
    > Same thing.

    Not quite. What makes OS/2's threads superior is that the OS multitasks
    threads, not processes. So I can create a time-critical thread in my process,
    and it will have priority over ALL threads in ALL processes.

    A lot of OS/2 software is written with this feature in mind. I know of one
    programmer who absolutely hates Linux because it's just too difficult porting
    software to it, and the lack of decent thread support is part of the problem.

    > Bondage and discipline languages that enforce somebody's idea of good
    > programming practice usually just result in WORSE bad programs, and fewer
    > good programs written by people who know how to play with fire without
    > burning themselves. Saying you can't have threads because they can be
    > misused and "you shouldn't program that way" would be truly dumb. (Turned ME
    > off for a couple years, anyway.)

    Exactly. Saying that threads cause bad code is just as dumb as saying that a
    kernel debugger will cause bad code because programmers will start using the
    debugger instead of proper design.

    Oh wait, never mind .....

    Timur Tabi -
    Interactive Silicon -

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