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Jan 28, 2014
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Ariadne A library of lock-free thread-safe collections for .NET and Mono. This library aims to provide a set of general-purpose and specialised generic collections, all of which are thread-safe for multiple simultaneous readers and writers without locking. Collections of purely experimental interest are acceptable, but the aim is that the majority should be of practical use. Homepage: Please visit <http://hackcraft.github.com/Ariadne/> for this project’ homepage, including documentation and binaries. Aims: Support for the common .NET/Mono conventions; implementing applicable interfaces, using IEqualityComparer<T> (with EqualityComparer<T>.Default as a default) whenever an equality comparison is called for, compatibility with LINQ, etc. While implemented in C♯ 4.0 for .NET 4.0 and Mono 2.10.6, language features used for the library should aim to make it relatively easy for someone to adapt the code for use versions as early as C♯ 2.0 if required (e.g. avoid implicit typing when it provides only syntactic sugar). Hence providing an alternative to the System.Collections.Concurrent namespace for those restricted to .NET 2.0 through .NET 3.5. Performance should be comparable to that offered by System.Collections.Concurrent in most cases, but not need compete with it in all, with the intention that there be cases where Ariadne is the optimal solution, even if it isn’t always. E.g. a lock-free dictionary would be considered successful if it was normally slower than System.Collections.Concurrent.ConcurrentDictionary but faster when a small number of keys becomes “interesting” and the subject of many writes to the same key. (Acutally, the implementation at the time of writing beats ConcurrentDictionary for at least some low-contention cases). To-Do: Testing! Lots of Testing! Both practical tests on different hardware and theoretcial analysis is eagerly welcomed. The NUnit tests definitely need to be extensively fleshed out. More classes for the library. I’ve a few classes planned that will add functionality it will be sensible to include in such a library, but there should be plenty of scope for more. Heuristic adjustments. In particular the values that set when a hash-table needs to be resized are determined from a small amount of experimentation, and may not be those with the most general balance. Performance improvements that encourage people to mis-quote Knuth about “premature optimisation”! More seriously, the purpose of this library makes changes purely for minor performance gains, justifiable. Such improvements should still be balanced with concerns for readability, in no way compromise reliability, and optimisations that improve one case and the cost of another require more justification than just the case in which they bring an improvement. Still, while some projects will wisely reject changes made purely for a minute performance gain, such changes will not be rejected out of hand here.