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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition by Charles Petzold

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Event Signaling

The most common use of multiple threads of execution is for programs that find they must carry out some lengthy processing. We can call this a "big job," which is anything a program has to do that might violate the 1/10-second rule. Obvious big jobs include a spelling check in a word processing program, a file sort or indexing in a database program, a spreadsheet recalculation, printing, and even complex drawing. Of course, as we know by now, the best solution to following the 1/10-second rule is to farm out big jobs to secondary threads of execution. These secondary threads do not create windows, and hence they are not bound by the 1/10-second rule.

It is often desirable for the secondary threads to inform the primary thread when ...

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