Archive for November, 2012

Immutability to the rescue

November 8, 2012 2 comments

There is a powerful and simple concept in programming that is really underused: Immutability.
Basically, an object is immutable if its state doesn’t change once the object has been created. Consequently, a class is immutable if its instances are immutable.

There is one killer argument for using immutable objects: It dramatically simplifies concurrent programming. Think about it, why does writing proper multithreaded programming is a hard task? Because it is hard to synchronize threads accesses to resources (objects or others OS things). Why it is hard to synchronize these accesses? Because it is hard to guarantee that there won’t be race conditions between the multiple write accesses and read accesses done by multiple threads on multiple objects. What if there are no more write accesses? In other words, what if the state of the objects threads are accessing, doesn’t change? There is no more need for synchronization!
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