[Rd] Why not pthreads on Windows in 'parallel' package?

Kasper Daniel Hansen kasperdanielhansen at gmail.com
Sat Aug 15 02:52:17 CEST 2015

mclapply uses fork which is different from pthreads.  As I understand it,
pthreads requires you to rewrite code, fork is a system call which takes
care of completely replicating the current state of the process.


On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM, Henrik Bengtsson <henrik.bengtsson at ucsf.edu
> wrote:

> On Windows there are a few 'pthreads' implementation, e.g.
> pthreads-w32 and winpthreads
> [https://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/r-devel/R-exts.html#Using-pthreads
> ].
> We're thinking of giving them a try for the matrixStats package, and
> basic tests indicates it works, but since Windows pthreads are not
> used by core R (or?) I've got a little bit worried that we will face
> overwhelming problems.
> So, why are the above Windows implementations not used in the
> 'parallel' package in order to add multicore support for mclapply() on
> Windows?  Was it tried but found to be unreliable?  Was it that no one
> had the time to do it?  License issues?  Are there any pointers to old
> R-devel threads discussing this?
> Thanks
> Henrik
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