Understanding the basics of concurrency
A concurrent program can execute multiple tasks at the same time. Concurrent programming is, in general, a lot harder than sequential programming, but there are several reasons why a program may benefit from being concurrent:
- Efficiency: The smartphones and desktop computers of today have multiple CPU cores that can execute multiple tasks in parallel. If you manage to split a big task into subtasks that can be run in parallel, it is theoretically possible to divide the running time of the big task by the number of CPU cores. For programs that run on machines with one single core, there can still be a gain in performance if a task is I/O bound. While one subtask is waiting for I/O, other subtasks can still perform useful work on the CPU.
- Responsiveness and low latency contexts: For applications with a graphical user interface, it is important to never block the UI so that the application becomes unresponsive. To prevent unresponsiveness...