[IPython-dev] Musings: syntax for high-level expression of parallel (and other) execution control

Prabhu Ramachandran prabhu@aero.iitb.ac...
Sun Sep 6 02:14:46 CDT 2009


On 09/06/09 11:52, Fernando Perez wrote:
> But don't beat yourself up: while there's nothing complex about what
> we're talking about, it is a slightly unusual usage of the language,
> so it's natural to do a double-take with it.  I have the benefit of
> having worried about this problem for a long time, but it took me
> *many* tries to understand how to fit the pieces together.  And I had
> the advantage of lots of help along the way:
[...]
> - and finally, John Siracusa's review at Ars Technica about Apple's
> work with anonymous blocks and Grand Central Dispatch make the whole
> thing click.
> 
> As you can see, if you're slow for taking a day to put it together,
> there's simply no hope for me: it took me almost 2 years, and I needed
> the help of some of the very brightest people in the python world to
> push me along.  They are the ones who did all the thinking and deserve
> the credit, I was just thick enough never to understand the ideas
> until now!

Thanks for the interesting links and thread.  Just FYI, last year I had 
occasion to solve, relatively elegantly, a set of pretty sticky problems 
for mayavi2 using decorators and generators.  See for example:

https://svn.enthought.com/enthought/browser/Mayavi/trunk/enthought/mayavi/tools/show.py
https://svn.enthought.com/enthought/browser/Mayavi/trunk/enthought/mayavi/tools/animator.py

They allow us to do relatively simple but neat things very elegantly. 
Until you use decorators you often don't realize how convenient they can 
be.  In particular the pattern used in animator.py shows how convenient 
the combination of a UI dispatch mechanism plus a generator is.  All a 
programmer needs is to inject a yield suitably and the rest is automatic.

The Kamaelia project (http://www.kamaelia.org) is also very interesting 
for its use of generators, microprocesses, components and very 
specifically concurrency.  They have a very neat model for exactly this 
and a nice though slightly elaborate tutorial showing how you can build 
their core library from these ideas.  If you have the time it is very 
interesting.

My humble contribution to spending two more hours of your time. ;-)

cheers,
prabhu


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