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Microsoft’s Experiments with Software Transactional Memory Have Ended

by Jonathan Allen on  May 13, 2010 3

Dana Groff has announced the end of Microsoft’s experiment with software transactional memory for the .NET Framework. Known as STM.NET, this research project was announced in 2008 as an alternative to explicit locks when dealing with concurrency issues.

Patterns and Samples for .NET Parallel Extensions

by Jonathan Allen on  Apr 21, 2010

Even though Microsoft has been working on .NET’s Parallel Extensions since 2007, there are still many features that they didn’t have time to fully implement for .NET 4.0. Some features were “too application-specific to be included in the core of the Framework” while others simply needed for testing and user feedback. So instead they are being released as a set of patterns and samples.

Keeping Garbage Collection Pauses Short with Growing Heap Sizes: Q&A With Dr. Cliff Click

by Charles Humble on  Apr 21, 2010

The strong correlation between heap size and garbage collection pause time is becoming one of the major limitations to Java application scalability, and a great deal of R&D effort is going into trying to remedy the situation. InfoQ talked to Dr. Cliff Click, former architect and lead developer of the HotSpot Server Compiler and now chief JVM Architect at Azul Systems, about Azul's solution.

JRuby Roundup: JRuby-Prof Allows Fast Profiling, JRuby::Synchronized for Automatic Synchronization

by Werner Schuster on  Mar 24, 2010 1

JRuby-Prof is a new, low overhead profiler for JRuby which, unlike plain Java profilers, will generate clear, Ruby-specific reports. A new feature in JRuby is JRuby::Synchronized, a module that, when extended, will make all methods of a class synchronized.

Akka - Simpler Scalability, Fault-Tolerance, Concurrency & Remoting through Actors

by Michael Hunger on  Mar 21, 2010 2

Today, the Akka team released version 0.7 of their actors framework for the Java Virtual Machine. Akka attempts to address future concurrency challenges with a solution relying on message based actors, software transactional memory and appropriate fault handling strategies. InfoQ talked to Jonas Bonér about the intent behind Akka, its current state and adoption, and future plans.

MacRuby 0.5 Released, Debugger To Come in 0.6

by Werner Schuster on  Feb 01, 2010 3

MacRuby 0.5 has been released, with a new VM, AOT and JIT support. The GIL MacRuby inherited from Ruby 1.9 is now gone and Grand Central Dispatch support allows to keep a system's cores busy with Ruby threads. Work on the 0.6 release is already under way; a new debugger feature is already available in the trunk.

Dynamic Language Roundup: Python's GIL Gets Overhauled but not Removed, Squeak Comes to Android

by Werner Schuster on  Jan 24, 2010 1

The Unladen Swallow project that aims to speed up Python has proposed to be merged into mainstream Python. One of Unladen Swallow's goals was to remove the GIL; a new implementation of Python's GIL by Antoine Pitrou will be fairer and less intrusive on multicore CPUs. Also: Squeak Smalltalk has been ported to Android.

ConcurrentDictionary, .NET 4.0’s New Thread-Safe Hashtable

by Jonathan Allen on  Jan 23, 2010 3

The ConcurrentDictionary is a cornerstone in .NET 4.0’s greatly increased emphasis on parallel and concurrent programming. But while vastly superior to what we have seen in the past, it isn’t a panacea and developers need to study its semantics carefully.

Clojure 1.1 Adds Transients, Chunked Sequences for Efficiency

by Werner Schuster on  Dec 17, 2009

Clojure 1.1 RC1 is out and cuts the overhead of functional programming with a few new constructs: transients bring controlled mutability for persistent data structures; chunked sequences make lazy sequences more efficient. InfoQ takes a look at what makes these improvements work.

Beta 2 Brings Refinements to .NET’s Coordination Data Structures Library

by Jonathan Allen on  Nov 14, 2009

Coordination Data Structures (CDS) is designed both to be used directly and to act as the building blocks for more complex concurrency frameworks. It includes advanced synchronization tools like the Barrier, several thread-safe collections, and a couple different ways to create futures.

Google Experiments with a New Language, Go

by Abel Avram on  Nov 11, 2009 13

Go is a Google experimental open source new language resembling C but adding features like reflection, garbage collector, dynamic types, concurrency, and parallelism.

Introducing the Task Parallel Library’s new Cancellation Framework

by Jonathan Allen on  Nov 11, 2009 2

Task Parallel Library, .NET 4.0’s replacement for ThreadPool, got a face lift for beta 2. In addition to performance improvements, it The most important change is probably the new cancellation framework that replaces parent/child relationships with cancellation tokens that can be freely given to logical groups of tasks.

Ruby VM Roundup: MacRuby Progress, IronRuby, Ruby 1.9.2 Delay

by Werner Schuster on  Sep 30, 2009

MacRuby is nearing its first RC for 0.5 and adds support for Grand Central Dispatch. A new IronRuby release is available, Ruby 1.9.2 might be delayed, and Rubinius joins the group of 1.8.7 compliant Ruby implementations.

A Type System for Scala Actors to Enforce Race Safety Without Sacrificing Performance

by Sadek Drobi on  Jul 20, 2009 3

Philipp Haller and Martin Odersky introduce a type system that enables safe massage transfer in Scala actors. Formalized as an extension of the EPFL Scala compiler, “Object Capability Types” system, based on capability checking and external uniqueness, enforces race safety without sacrificing performance and removes significant limitations on message shape imposed by existing approaches.

Exploring Tuple Spaces Persistence In Ruby With Blackboard

by Sebastien Auvray on  Jul 13, 2009

Ruby has long been criticized for 1.8's limited green threads. Luc Castera gave a presentation at RubyNation about Concurrent Programming with Ruby and Tuple Spaces. He introduces 2 ways of implementing TupleSpaces in Ruby: Rinda and Blackboard using Redis (with plans to porting it to Erlang).

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