[zeromq-dev] Fwd: Re: New Python bindings

Jon Dyte jon at totient.co.uk
Mon Feb 15 11:22:22 CET 2010

On Monday 15 Feb 2010, you wrote:
> Jon Dyte wrote:
> > On the other hand it might  be cheaper to just take the hit of the copy, 
> > using the ref count and free function, means the io thread would end up 
> > calling into the python runtime, which might slow things down more and
> > possibly cause other threading issues.
> Right. However, it depends on the Python runtime. Would it survive being 
> called from two different threads? If not so, making a copy of the 
> message is much more efficient than wrapping each call in a mutex.
> Martin

Python runtime has one big lock called the GIL(global-interpreter-lock).
This means that python only really runs one python thread(ie started from 
python code ) at a time
(some might say that's not threaded at all ;-) ) and they get some sort of 
timeslice(number of byte code instructions?) before yielding.

Note: AFAIK Jython and IronPython (JVM and .Net) threads work more as 

When writing a c-module extension calling into a foreign interface, you can 
release the GIL.

The  io-thread will have to acquire GIL in order to free it up.

So in this case on balance I'd think I would take the hit of the copy.


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