Kernel Hacker’s Bookshelf: Synthesis

My article on Alexia Massalin’s Synthesis OS is up at Linux Weekly News. My favorite quote from the comments so far:

“When the callback for queue empty happens, the code to operate on the queue is switched to
use the lock-free synchronization code. When the quaject’s queue-not-empty callback is
invoked, the quajects switch back to the synchronization-free code.”

Whoa… that ran shivers down my spine. What an outrageously cool idea.

This is the latest in my Kernel Hacker’s Bookshelf series (scroll down to the K’s in that page). There are three really great things about writing this series: (1) In order to write about the papers, I have to reread them until I actually understand them fully, (2) I get to infect other programmers with my favorite cool ideas, (3) Everyone associates me with other people’s brilliant ideas and so they think I’m much smarter than I am.

1 thought on “Kernel Hacker’s Bookshelf: Synthesis”

  1. We recently talked about the Massalin paper in the graduate CS class I’m sitting in on (Concurrent Systems). My professor said he actually met Massalin once before he became Alexia. My professor said Massalin was very brillant but a little strange. He would have people talk to his koala bear instead of directly to him. The koala bear said, “Qua!” which was why he chose names like “quaject”. He also liked to carry people around on his back, and had a whole bunch of pictures of himself carrying famous computer scientists around. Yay for quirky computer scientists!

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