A word of caution on parallelism in general. Not too long ago, someone in CS at
an Ivy League school studied the use of parallelism across different uses and
applications. The goal was to find out how much the ‘hype’ about parallelism
affected people. My recollection is that they found close to 20 projects where
professors (in CE, EE, CS, Bio, Econ, etc) told their grad students/PhDs to use
parallelism to run programs faster. They checked all of them and for N - 1 or
2, the projects ran faster once the parallelism was removed. Significantly
People routinely underestimate the communication cost that parallelism
;; - - -
A word on futures. As James said, they work as advertised but if you do read
the fine print, you need to understand that in Racket, too many operations
This obstacle will require a decent amount of labor on run-time system.
Even if we overcame this obstacle, we would soon run into others that people in
the 80s and 90s encountered and addressed with various techniques (work
stealing load balancing etcetc). We would need to implement all of this to
catch up and provide a sufficient degree of convenience for futures.
Then it would be *really good thing* for Racket programmers and would even turn
into a research project.
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