[Lispweb] lisp implementations and threading

Daniel Lakeland dlakelan at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 18 11:26:09 CDT 2001

Here's Paul Graham's comments on how they handled multi-threading issues
at Viaweb (Yahoo Store).


We gave each user their own Lisp image to talk to. So it
was no problem to have each individual one be single threaded.
The OS handled scheduling between processes, which seemed a
good plan, considering it's one of the main things OSes are
designed for.  This also meant the OS conveniently paged out
users who had been idle for a long time.

Users' data tended to be larger than the code part of the 
Lisp image, most of which was shared anyway, so this was not 
an inefficient way to use memory.  

The OS, BTW, was FreeBSD.  Fortunately, that's what they use 
throughout Yahoo, so we did not have to port anything when 
they bought Viaweb.

Sure, by all means post this where you like.


Daniel Lakeland
Endpoint Scientific Computing
(925) 323-3156
dlakelan at yahoo.com

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