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[whatwg] Application defined "locks"

From: Scott Hess <shess@google.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:50:32 -0700
Message-ID: <696e4b7c0909101650o698b4c01i59a43574db4763a4@mail.gmail.com>
On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM, James Robinson<jamesr at google.com> wrote:
> I also strongly feel that giving web
> developers access to locking mechanisms is a bad idea - it hasn't been a
> spectacular success in any other language.

I think that you can either give web developers a strong set of
concurrent-programming primitives, or you can give them a weak set and
let them make up what they think they need out of those. ?The nice
thing about providing a very basic primitives is that it's more likely
that good developers can compose higher-level operations with the

A few years back I proposed to some coworkers that it would be
interesting to model JavaScript IPC on an existing well-formed system,
such as Mach. ?On the surface, that sounds crazy, but once someone
finds that they need to figure out how to have some code process a
MessagePort in database transaction under a critical section, well,
then it makes more sense to have modeled the primitives on a research
project rather than be added in an ad hoc fashion.

> I think the useful semantics are equivalent to the following (being careful
> to avoid mentioning 'locks' or 'mutexes' explicit): ?A script passes in a
> callback and a token. ?The UA invokes the callback at some point in the
> future and provides the guarantee that no other callback with that token
> will be invoked in any context within the origin until the invoked callback
> returns. ?Here's what I mean with an intentionally horrible name:
> window.runMeExclusively(callback, "arbitrary string token");

? window.runCriticalSection(callback, "identifier");

Received on Thursday, 10 September 2009 16:50:32 UTC

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