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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-03-16 13:33:34

In past discussions we decided that a threading library presented some
unique difficulties.

See the Threads Roadmap I presented last October in Toronto:

The conclusion was that we should to hold a boost threading library to a
higher standard than usual, because it must face higher hurdles than usual.

Some of those higher standards have already been applied in the design
process. Now it is time to look at some of the others:

* Example applications. We need these to make sure the design is useful
in practical problems, to compare to other solutions, and to try to flush
out issues not yet dealt with.

It seems to me that it would be very useful if examples were implemented by
someone other than Bill Kempf. There is nothing like someone other than
the developer actually using software to identify issues. Plus that
spreads the workload.

It also seems to me that it would be useful if the examples were well
known, and had implementations using other threading packages for
comparison. David Butenhof's "Programming with POSIX Threads" identifies
(chapter 4) three "primary models for threaded programming" and gives
solutions for each:

   - Pipeline
   - Work crew
   - Client/server

Perhaps others have better suggestions, but these three problems seem to me
to be about the right size and feel for this sort of experiment.

* Test framework. We need to be able to stress this library on both
single and multiple processor systems for days on end. Again, it would be
nice if the test developer was someone other that Bill. The more
independent the better. And it would be helpful if it was someone who
understood how to test this sort of system. Fiendish is the word that
comes to mind. (I can help round up some fairly serious hardware to run
large tests on. I guess I'm running on the assumption that testing will
involve random number generated test cases that are parameterized for how
long (or how many) cases to run. But maybe someone knows a better way.)

Anyhow, here to two major opportunities to get your name in lights, or at
least added to the Boost people page. Think about volunteering to write
example applications or a test framework! Presumably both would become
part of the permanent library.


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