IEEE Computer Volume 12 Number 5 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1979-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Software Patent Institute
Dr. Francis P. Mathur: AUTHOR [+2]
BOOK REVIEWS * B79-7 The Architecture of Concurrent Programs -- Per Brinch Hansen (Prentice-Hall Series in Automatic Computation, Englewoods Cliffs, N.J., 1977, 317 pp., $16.95)
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Dr. Francis P. Mathur
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B79-7 The Architecture of Concurrent Programs -- Per Brinch Hansen (Prentice- Hall Series in Automatic Computation, Englewoods Cliffs, N.J., 1977, 317 pp., $16.95)
This is, as far as we know, the first book published on concurrent programming. Previously, this topic has been included in books on operating systems, a closely related but different subject. Books on operating systems usually consist of a survey of such topics as processor allocation, memory management, interrupts, I/O, file systems, process synchronization, batch and multi- programming systems, scheduling, deadlock, and protection. Even after reading several books of this nature, the reader is left feeling that he has been exposed to a number of complex problems yet has learned very little about designing and implementing even a modest operating system. If you have shared these feelings with us, you will welcome Brinch Hansen's most recent book.
The book is divided into three parts: Programming Tools /Chapters 1-4), Concurrent Programs (5-7), and Language Details (8-9). The first part describes the author's design criteria and programming methodology, and the two languages Sequential Pascal and Concurrent Pascal. The second part gives three extensive examples of the use of these principles and tools: the Solo operating system, a jobstream scheduler, and a real-time scheduler are shown in their entirety. The Concurrent Pascal Report (which describes the language as well as some limitations of its PDP-11 implementation) and the Concurrent Pascal Machine (which shows how the code generated by the Concurrent Pascal compiler is executed) comprise the third part.
An author does well to start by stating those beliefs and biases he holds that are relevant to his work so that the reader is forewarned about what will follow and can understand the motivation behind subsequent decisions and choices. Brinch Hansen's opening chapter -- a reasoned essay on fundamental principles of programming today -- does this remarkably well....