exec* exiting?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 20 10:12:20 CEST 2001


"Neil Macneale" <mac4-devnull at theory.org> wrote in message
news:3b80743c$0$319$8eec23a at newsreader.tycho.net...
    ...
> It turns out that its has been awhile since I used the exec* functions
> in C, and now I remember why- I don't like fork()! I consider it black
> magic.  Forking from a process which uses a lot of memory is not
> something I want to do all the time.  Especially considering the program
> I am writing.

On good Unix-ish implementations, your process's memory is
only duplicated 'virtually', with copy-on-write.  It's therefore
no big issue to fork "a process which uses a lot of memory".
It's not Unix V7 on a PDP-11 any more, you know -- we have
virtual memory these days, and page tables, and other such
modern wonders.

> In presponse to your comments on Ritchie and Thompsom- I love their
> creation, but I have no problem calling parts of it 'lame'. There are

I've noticed: indeed, you see no problem in passing such judgment
on things you clearly utterly fail to understand (vide the above fear
of fork as 'black magic') despite, you now inform us, being an
experienced practitioner.

> many aspects of the computer world that I consider 'lame', and you may
> not. It's simply a matter of opinion.  I respect Ritchie and Thomson

There are lots of issues that are valid "matters of opinion", and
others that aren't, because, thanks be, there ARE some underlying
technical *facts*.  The crucial role of fork, and its implementation
performance aspects in modern Unix-like systems, are FACTS.


> Final note- The thing I like about python is that people excited about
> it generally are not so condesending as the letter you posted below. I

That's mainly because we rarely have to deal with people as
arrogant as to insult what they clearly don't understand.  When
you're as rude as to spew insults without understanding, then
condescension is the least you can expect, in any social milieu.


Alex






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