Finally got to use MCE::* in a project

There are a set of modules in the Perl universe that I’ve been looking for an excuse to use for a while. They are the MCE set of modules, which purportedly enable easy concurrency and parallelism, exploiting many core CPUs, and a number of techniques. Sure enough, I had a task to handle recently that required this.

I looked at many alternatives, and played with a few, including Parallel::Queue. I thought of writing my own with IPC::Run as I was already using it in the project, but I didn’t want to lose focus on the mission, and re-invent a wheel that already existed elsewhere.

Ok … so Parallel::Queue required I alter my code significantly. I did so. And it didn’t work. Arguments were lost. I was able to launch things, but not what I thought without further hacking. E.g. the example test code didn’t work.

Remembering MCE, I explored that universe, and found MCE::Loop. Apart from the initialization block, I simply had to change 4 lines of my code. One of my outer foreach loops was converted to an

mce_loop {} @array

construct from the previous

foreach (@array) { ... }

construct. Two additional assignments to pull the data in … and …

Worked perfectly with the IPC::Run based execution. Easily one of the best and fastest experiences I’ve had with concurrentizing/parallelizing a code.

And yes, this was in Perl 5.24. The same code had to run identically across Linux and SmartOS. And it did.

Powerful tools make you more productive. I wish I could get Perl6 built on SmartOS (running into some bugs with late versions of Rakudo star). And still working on getting Julia 0.6 to compile (dependency issues that I am working on resolving).

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