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What kinds of things should be threaded or multitasked?

    If you are a programmer and would like to take advantage of multithreading, the natural question is what parts of the program should/ should not be threaded. Here are a few rules of thumb (if you say "yes" to these, have fun!):

    • Are there groups of lengthy operations that don't necessarily depend on other processing (like painting a window, printing a document, responding to a mouse-click, calculating a spreadsheet column, signal handling, etc.)?
    • Will there be few locks on data (the amount of shared data is identifiable and "small")?
    • Are you prepared to worry about locking (mutually excluding data regions from other threads), deadlocks (a condition where two COEs have locked data that other is trying to get) and race conditions (a nasty, intractable problem where data is not locked properly and gets corrupted through threaded reads & writes)?
    • Could the task be broken into various "responsibilities"? E.g. Could one thread handle the signals, another handle GUI stuff, etc.?

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