Will multithreading make python less popular?

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Thu Feb 19 18:34:28 EST 2009

Tim Wintle wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-02-19 at 12:18 -0800, Paul Rubin wrote:
>> If such
>> speedups were useless or unimportant, we would not have blown our hard
>> earned cash replacing perfectly good older hardware, so we have to
>> accept the concept that speed matters and ignore those platitudes that
>> say otherwise.
> Kind of agree (although I use a netbook at lot at the moment, and I
> don't use that because of speed-ups!)
> (3)
> Multiple cores scale processing power linearly at best with the number
> of cores (since you're normally going to be IO based at some point).
> Perhaps the GIL will be relaxed a bit, but it's not going to have a
> massive effect.
There are significant classes of problems which *are* compute bound, and
as computers are applied more and more to planning and design problems
it seems likely that kind of application will become more significant.

In twenty years time our laptops will probably be continually optimizing
aspects of our lives using advanced linear algebra algorithms over
matrices with hundreds or thousands of millions of elements. I wouldn't
like Python to be excluded from solving such problems, and others we
currently fail to foresee.

Though my own interest does tend to lie in the areas where interaction
of various kinds dominates the need for large chunks of processing
power, I can't ignore the obvious. Many compute-bound problems do exist,
and they are important.

Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC              http://www.holdenweb.com/

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