Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick update on Chrome

Sure enough, a site I browsed to caused Chrome to crash -- not unexpected, given this is the first release of an alpha product (yeah, I know that Google calls it beta; I'm doing my own take here). However, true to expectations, it only caused that tab to close and vanish; the rest of my browser was unaffected.

This pleases me.

Separate processes are the way things should have been done a long time ago. (Why won't anyone listen to me on this?) Threads are fine if you have short, asymmetric work loads (e.g., spinning up a separate thread to monitor a file handle); they're generally not the right solution if you have symmetric work to perform. The Java fanboys at work yell and scream that threads are perfect, processes don't scale on multicore systems (huh?), you can't share memory (uh, that's kind of the point), and going multiprocess is an admission that your code has bugs (well, duh).

Of course, Java has plenty of objects to handle threads but no fork() call. Going multiprocess is much harder in this kind of environment. Not impossible, as the Cygwin guys have demonstrated through their fork() emulation on Windows, but definitely harder.

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