Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Multithreading publishing tendency

Some time ago I decided to close gaps in my multithreading knowledge once and for all (I am still pretty sure that I would stay away from multiple threads like from regular expressions :). I looked for the ultimate book on multithreading and to my surprise there were not a lot of them around. Eventually I found what I looked for but research gave me some interesting thoughts.

The graph (I like graphs!) represents a publishing dates of the first 20 books on multithreading from the This is an interesting tendency - the peak is on the 1997-1999. Of course there are some distracting factors, like IDE standardization and Internet, - blogging seems to chock the life out the technology publishing.

So the conclusion (biased enough) seems to be this: when powerful meanings to build software, complex enough to consider multiple threading, were unleashed upon programming public, the interest in multithreading books rose. Operating systems with parallel processing abilities become more affordable and more programmers were summoned to feed the software hunger. Multithreading ceased to be a sacred clandestine knowledge of the chosen few. Here is the essential timeline of operating systems and languages progress:

1991 Visual Basic Linux, Macintosh OS 7
1992 Borland Pascal Solaris 2.0, Windows 3.1
1993 Ruby FreeBSD, Windows NT 3.1
1995 Borland Delphi, Java, Ruby ColdFusion, Windows 95
1996 Mac OS 7.6
1997 PHP 3, JavaScript, J2SE 1.1 Mac OS 8, Windows NT 4
1998 ANSI/ISO standard C++ Solaris 7, Windows 98
1999 XSLY, GML, J2SE 1.2 Mac OS 9, Windows 98 SE
2000 .NET 1.0 Beta, J2SE 1.3 Windows 2000
2001 Ruby goes public Mac OS X v10.0, Windows XP
2002 .NET 1.0 RTM, J2SE 1.4 Mac OS X v10.2, Windows XP x64
2003 .NET 1.1 RTM Mac OS X v10.3, Windows Server 2003
2004 Ruby on Rails, J2SE 5.0
2005 .NET 2.0 RTM Mac OS X v10.4
2006 .NET 3.0 RTM, Java SE 6.0
2007 .NET 3.5 Beta 1 Windows Vista

By the 2000 IDE seem to make multithreading easy enough to implement without fundamental understanding the processes behind it and provided enough guiding through their own help. And once again - blogging provides more timely information on the subject than any book.

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