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Re^3: Parrot, threads & fears for the future.

by tirwhan (Abbot)
on Oct 24, 2006 at 08:49 UTC ( #580215=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Parrot, threads & fears for the future.
in thread Parrot, threads & fears for the future.

I think state machines suck

Heh, I just can't resist pointing out my favourite quote by Alan Cox, which pretty much answers the OP as well:

A computer is a state machine. Threads are for people who can't program state machines.

(Cue people screaming that he's talking about OS threads, not userland threads, yadda, yadda ;-)


All dogma is stupid.

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Re^4: Parrot, threads & fears for the future.
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Oct 24, 2006 at 09:20 UTC

    This has come up before, I answered it before (last para), but much prefer renodino's answer to that directly, or my own somewhat more explanatory, but indirect earlier answer (last two paras).

    Or perhaps Mr. Cox should think about this.

    Computers use binary, but we do not program in it.

    Computers are dumb; (most) human beings aren't.

    Computers never forget; most human beings do.

    Human beings usually learn from their mistakes, computers will continue to make mistakes--very, very quickly--until they are either stopped, or crash.

    The purpose of computers is to make the lives of human beings easier, not to force us all to become computer-like.

    Slogans that portray elitist attitudes, do not reflect well upon their authors.


    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      <shrug> to be honest, I have no real desire to debate the pros-and-cons of threads with you, because I have in the past tried (and failed) to understand what kind of mindset is required to simultaneously consider programming state machines difficult and thread-induced problems manageable. Personally, I'd amend renodino's amendment to:

      Threads are for people who can't have better things to do than program state machines but instead prefer to waste time debugging concurrency and verification issues

      but that's just me. I suspect it's a kind of vim vs. emacs and Linux vs. Windows debate, so best left alone.

      But your post does indicate to me that you probably still don't know who Alan Cox is and haven't looked into the history and discussion surrounding that quote. You may want to consider doing that (and here's a quick pointer at one such discussion), you might learn something and become a bit more cautious with the word "elitist". Just a thought.


      All dogma is stupid.

        I'd love to learn the context behind the quote, but your link leads me to a usenet post that add's this

        Actually he left out the apostrophe and didn't capitalize `computer'. See, e.g., http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:myb1i-ixJ0k:web.gnu.walfield.org/ +mail-archive/linux-kernel/2000-January/3533.html

        Which unless I'm being terribly obtuse tells me nothing at all?

        And if you follow the link in that, leads to 3 identical copies of the same post on different servers. Which doesn't help either. So I am still without the context from which the quote was drawn, and frankly cannot image any context in which it could be seen as anything other than elitist?


        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

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