Ballerina Concurrency Model and Non-Blocking I/O

Ballerina Concurrency Model and Non-Blocking I/O

Ballerina Concurrency Model and Non-Blocking I/O. Take an in-depth look at Ballerina's concurrency model and how it provides the foundation for the inherent non-blocking I/O support available in the language.

Take an in-depth look at Ballerina's concurrency model and how it provides the foundation for the inherent non-blocking I/O support available in the language.

Introduction

The  Ballerina programming language has a unique concurrency model that promotes efficient resource usage and provides an intuitive programming model for users. Its concurrency model is also critical to the non-blocking I/O support provided with the communication protocols. In this article, we will take an in-depth look into Ballerina’s concurrency support, and see how the non-blocking I/O operations are implemented on top of this. 

Let’s first take a look at the general concurrency constructs provided by an operating system and how they work, and then move onto the concurrency primitives provided by Ballerina. 

Multitasking With Processes and Threads

The operating system (OS) provides us with the general constructs of processes and threads. A single program or a process can contain one or more threads. A thread of execution is scheduled on a specific CPU core by the OS scheduler. So from the OS, a thread is the most primitive execution construct for our programs. There can, of course, be more threads than the CPU cores we have in our machine.

The execution of these threads happens in a preemptive manner using the OS scheduler, where currently running threads in CPU cores are interrupted in time intervals to timeshare with the other threads in the system. This provides us with the illusion that all processes and threads are executed concurrently. We humans do not detect this pausing and resuming of execution; especially in interactive applications, we see everything executing at the same time.

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