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[x] u t. n y Execute as task Conjunction

No rank -- the result is a verb with infinite rank

   i. t. ''"0 i. 5
||0|0 1|0 1 2|0 1 2 3|

[x] u t. n y runs ([x] <@:u y) in an idle thread and returns its result, which is a pyx. A pyx is a special box. It looks like an atomic box and can be used like any other box. When the pyx is opened, the opening thread will block until the value is available. If the creation of the pyx ended in error, that error will be signaled when the pyx is opened.

Suitable Tasks

Task Overhead

In modern CPUs each core has its own caches, which these days amount to about half a megabyte for the level-2 data cache. Accesses to memory contained in the local caches is fast. Accesses to memory not in the local caches is slow.

When task A starts task B, the arguments to task B will presumably be contained in the caches of task A. Task B, which will probably be running in a different core, will have to copy the data from task A's caches to task B's. This will be slow.

Likewise, when task B completes, its result will be in its caches, and task A will have to read them, which will be slow.

In addition to these delays in accessing argument and results, there is an overhead for waking a thread, measured in tens of microseconds.

Attributes of a Suitable Task

Considering the above, we can characterize a good task:

  • It takes more time to run than to start, i. e. it runs for hundreds of microseconds
  • It executes local memory accesses of at least 10x the size of the arguments+result.

A thread that adds two vectors is NOT a good candidate.

A thread that executes an explicit verb probably IS a good candidate, as long as the verb does appreciable internal processing.


Task Options

The n argument to t. controls execution of the task. The format is

[[<]threadpool#][,< keyword[;keywordvalue]]...

threadpool# indicates which threadpool the task should be assigned to. Threads are assigned to threadpools when they are created. By default, threadpool 0 is used. Example of use:

   u t. 2 'abc'

runs u in threadpool 2 if threadpool 2 exists (if it does not exist, u may be run in the main thread).

One keyword has been defined.

The worker keyword controls whether the task should be executed in the originating thread if there is no waiting thread for it to run in.

   u t. 'worker'
   u t. (<'worker')
   u t. (<'worker';1)

all indicate that the task should always be run in a worker thread (provided the threadpool is not empty). If the keyword is omitted, a keywordvalue of 0 is used. If the keywordvalue is omitted, but the keyword itself is present, 1 is used for the keywordvalue. Supplying a keyword with a keywordvalue of 0 is like omitting the keyword.


The task has access to all public names. When it starts it has no private namespace (thus any assignments it makes before calling an explicit entity will be public).

Private variables are never shared between tasks.


When a task starts, some settings are inherited from the initiating task:

Other parameters are reset to their initial values:

  • Number of parser calls (read by 6!:4)
  • High-water mark of memory usage (read by 7!:1)
  • Name-caching status (set by 9!:5)


All tasks simultaneously access the same global namespace, and may assign to or erase names that are being looked up by other tasks . Once a name has been successfully looked up and replaced by its value, that value will be protected from change while it is in execution.

The value associated with a name is always the most recent value assigned to the name at the time of the lookup. However, the value assigned to the name may change at any time.

The synchronization features offered by (x T. y) allow locking of shared resources.

Related Primitives

Threads and Tasks (T.)