During our inaugural Paubox Engineering Summit yesterday, Ben Ternes (Python engineer) brought up the following question:
"Is Ruby behind a Global Interpreter Lock?"
This post will answer that question.
Global Interpreter Lock (GIL)
As context, I asked Ben Ternes for his definition of a global interpreter lock:
"The job of the global interpreter lock is to create a lock on top of the code to ensure only one thread can execute at a time. It's limited to the actual interpreted code though. You can still run things in parallel like I/O. Its intention is to make the language more thread safe."
Is Ruby behind a Global Interpreter Lock?
I then asked Joshua Montross (Ruby engineer) for his opinion on whether Ruby is behind a global interpreter lock.
He diplomatically answered, "it depends."
Here's more insight from Joshua:
"MRI, the original implementation and first version of Ruby, does have GIL, which enables concurrent execution of Ruby code. However it prevents parallel execution of Ruby code.
Joshua then embarked on a tangent, which I'll include here for your enjoyment:
Python is the VW posing as the BMW and it's only better for machine learning IMHO.
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