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ZeroMQ by Pieter Hintjens

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Multithreading with ØMQ

ØMQ is perhaps the nicest way ever to write multithreaded (MT) applications. Whereas ØMQ sockets require some readjustment if you are used to traditional sockets, ØMQ multithreading will take everything you know about writing MT applications, throw it into a heap in the garden, pour gasoline over it, and set it alight. It’s a rare book that deserves burning, but most books on concurrent programming do.

To make utterly perfect MT programs (and I mean that literally), we don’t need mutexes, locks, or any other form of inter-thread communication except messages sent across ØMQ sockets.

By “perfect” MT programs, I mean code that’s easy to write and understand, that works with the same design approach in any programming language and on any operating system, and that scales across any number of CPUs with zero wait states and no point of diminishing returns.

If you’ve spent years learning tricks to make your MT code work at all, let alone rapidly, with locks and semaphores and critical sections, you will be disgusted when you realize it was all for nothing. If there’s one lesson we’ve learned from 30+ years of concurrent programming, it is: just don’t share state. It’s like two drunkards trying to share a beer. It doesn’t matter if they’re good buddies. Sooner or later, they’re going to get into a fight. And the more drunkards you add to the table, the more they fight each other over the beer. The tragic majority of MT applications look like drunken bar fights.

The ...

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