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There isn't a good, native method. I always begin by implementing a thread safe producer/consumer queue with non-blocking peek, which checks to see if there's something at the head of the queue. You can use something like this for other threads to block on, or to poll, etc. It's very useful.

Futures are somewhat useful if you spawn off a thread to do a single task and wait for it to finish, however, on many platforms, the thread creation overhead is high enough that you don't want to do that, you want to have existing worker threads being given work to do.

Once again, this is something Go does really well. Go routines are almost free, so you can use them with a futures model very easily.

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