Any multiprocessing facility must include three features: elementary exclusion, data protection, and process saving. While elementary exclusion must rest on some hardware facility (e.g., a test-and-set instruction), the other two requirements are fulfilled by features already present in applicative languages. Data protection may be obtained through the use of procedures (closures or funargs), and process saving may be obtained through the use of the catch operator. The use of catch, in particular, allows an elegant treatment of process saving.
We demonstrate these techniques by writing the kernel and some modules for a multiprocessing system. The kernel is very small. Many functions which one would normally expect to find inside the kernel are completely decentralized. We consider the implementation of other schedulers, interrupts, and the implications of these ideas for language design.
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