Tag Archives: threading

Python 201: A Tutorial on Threads

The threading module was first introduced in Python 1.5.2 as an enhancement of the low-level thread module. The threading module makes working with threads much easier and allows the program to run multiple operations at once.

Note that the threads in Python work best with I/O operations, such as downloading resources from the Internet or reading files and directories on your computer. If you need to do something that will be CPU intensive, then you will want to look at Python’s multiprocessing module instead. The reason for this is that Python has the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) that basically makes all threads run inside of one master thread. Because of this, when you go to run multiple CPU intensive operations with threads, you may find that it actually runs slower. So we will be focusing on what threads do best: I/O operations!

Intro to Threads

A thread let’s you run a piece of long running code as if it were a separate program. It’s kind of like calling subprocess except that you are calling a function or class instead of a separate program. I always find it helpful to look at a concrete example. Let’s take a look at something that’s really simple:

import threading
def doubler(number):
    A function that can be used by a thread
    print(threading.currentThread().getName() + '\n')
    print(number * 2)
if __name__ == '__main__':
    for i in range(5):
        my_thread = threading.Thread(target=doubler, args=(i,))

Continue reading Python 201: A Tutorial on Threads

Python Concurrency: An Intro to Threads

Python has a number of different concurrency constructs such as threading, queues and multiprocessing. The threading module used to be the primary way of accomplishing concurrency. A few years ago, the multiprocessing module was added to the Python suite of standard libraries. This article will be focused on the threading module though. Continue reading Python Concurrency: An Intro to Threads

Python Concurrency: An Example of a Queue

Python comes with a lot of cool concurrency tools builtin, such as threads, Queues, semaphores and multiprocessing. In this article, we’ll spend some time learning how to use Queues. A Queue can be used for first-in-first out or last-in-last-out stack-like implementations if you just use them directly. If you’d like to see that in action, see the Hellman article at the end of this post. We’re going to mix threads in and create a simple file downloader script to demonstrate how Queues work for cases where we want concurrency. Continue reading Python Concurrency: An Example of a Queue

PyCon 2010: Saturday Session 2 (early afternoon)

I managed to make it to three talks in the middle session. Here’s the list: “508 and You: Taking the Pain out of Accessibility” with Katie Cunningham, “Actors: What, Why, and How” with Donovan Preston and “Python Metaprogramming” with Nicolas Lara. I’ll see you after the jump! Continue reading PyCon 2010: Saturday Session 2 (early afternoon)