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Unless you use this excellent library:


Note that this blog post was written in 2006.

The other major model for multi-threading is known as message-passing multiprocessing. Unless you're familiar with the Occam or Erlang programming languages, you might not have encountered this model for concurrency before.

Two popular variants of the message-passing model are "Communicating Sequential Processes" and the "Actor model".

Why would you want to learn about this alternative model, when Pthreads have clearly won the battle for the hearts and minds of the programming public? Well, besides the sheer joy of learning something new, you might develop a different way of looking at problems, that'll help you top make better use of the tools that you do use regularly. In addition, as I'll explain in Part II of this rant, there's good reason to believe that message-passing concurrency is going to be coming back in a big way in the near future.

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