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From: Dietmar Kuehl (dietmar_kuehl_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-08-10 14:02:59

--- Kevlin Henney <kevlin_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Yes, I am not sure why we are having a discussion on monitors vs
> mutexes. Mutexes (and conditions) provide us with a primitive layer
> on which we can build the higher-level programming models. If you
> like, monitors are applied mutexes/conditions.

My understanding is that Greg says we don't need the primitives at all!
Monitors are sufficient and the better tool: The primitives are error
prone but people will use them if they are there. Thus, we should drop
them in favour of the better tool improving overall code quality. I
think this is a reasonable approach!

Towards this goal, it might be necessary to think deeper about the
"correct" interface to monitors. It also requires that we document how
to use this tool, in particular demonstrating how to use the tool to
solve problems people tend to use the primitives for.

I'm all in favour of this approach assuming that Greg is right with the
assertion that the primitives are not necessary and that monitors are
indeed the better tool. If either the primitives are necessary for
certain kinds of problems or monitors are not always the better tool, I
think we should document how to create monitors and suggest using them
for situations where they are the appropriate tool. At the very least,
people using BTL should have heard/read about monitors to consider them
as a design alternative. My impression is that most people are
completely unaware of this concept and are always thinking in terms of
the primitives... (including me because I haven't heard about monitors
before Greg mentioned them; well, that is not entirely true but
sufficiently close...).


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