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News November 2020

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I'm seeing the hype start to rise on project Loom, the project that is adding virtual threads to the JVM. People are doing tests with it (millions of threads), talks and articles, it is now definitely building up steam. For me, the hype is justified, I am eagerly awaiting this addition to the JDK, I believe this is the most significant change since JDK 5 (15 years ago!) fixed the JVM memory model and added many of the concurrency classes that are now indispensible.

To understand why I support the hype, you can see my quick (15 minute) talk on concurrency models from last year. All the different concurrency models are solving the same thing - the difficulty of avoiding concurrency bugs. All of them solve that difficulty by adding a framework which makes it easier to avoid concurrency bugs but makes it more difficult to understand what is happening when there is a problem - extra debugging complexity. Loom solves this with a significantly lower amount of debugging complexity. So what will happen over time is that ease of maintenance will drive everyone to use virtual threads, and the other concurrency frameworks will become niche special-case ones that are only used for specific architectures where they are the perfect fit.

I've extracted all the tips from my talk into this month's tips page along with those from the other talks I reference below - including one on Loom. And of course I have my other usual newsletter list of links, tips, tools, news and articles below.

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Jack Shirazi

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Last Updated: 2023-08-28
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