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Parallel JavaScript (River Trail) Brings Parallelism to the Web

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Parallel programming has long been considered the realm of the self-described expert programmer. Locks, memory models, race conditions, hardware anomalies, and complex global reasoning have been the devils that JavaScript banished from the language at its creation. The price has been a sequential language appropriate for the hardware of a decade ago. Parallel JavaScript, code name River Trail, rejects the notion that adding parallelism to JavaScript requires a Faustian bargain. Instead Parallel JavaScript gently extends JavaScript in safe, secure, and programmer friendly ways resulting in the most important performance change web programmers will enjoy over the next few years.

This talk will present the work we have done creating a web appropriate and HTML5/JavaScript programmer friendly parallel programming model and implementation. With this as a base the talk will look at exciting applications built using Parallel JavaScript including physics simulations, some augmented reality, and computer vision enabled games. Written entirely in JavaScript these applications provide a glimpse of a future that is increasingly immersive, engaging, and a lot more fun. While the next big application innovation is opaque what is clear is that the reality of the power wall will need to leverage all available parallel hardware including multiple hardware cores, vector instructions, and the increasing parallel and increasingly general GPUs. Parallel JavaScript is the leading contender on how to do this and is rapidly gaining acceptance both in the standards arena as well as in application arenas as the answer to evolving JavaScript into a more parallel world.

Photo of Richard L.  Hudson

Richard L. Hudson


Richard L. Hudson (Rick) is best known for his work in memory management including the invention of the Train Algorithm, the Sapphire Algorithm, the Mississippi Delta Algorithm, and leveraging transactional memory to enable concurrent garbage collection. He invented GC stack maps which enabled accurate garbage collection in statically typed languages like Java. He worked on transactional memory, non-blocking data structures, and was a driving force that led to the articulation of the x86 memory model. For the past 2+ years Richard has worked on the River Trail team researching the concurrent programming models needed for a more visual and immersive web experience.

Richard joined Intel in 1998 where he has worked on programming language runtimes, memory management, concurrency, synchronization, memory models, and programming model issues. He went to Shortridge, holds a B.A. degree from Hampshire College, and an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts.

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Shirley Bailes
05/29/2013 6:11am PDT

@Jeremy and Christopher: We shall post the slides if and once we receive them from the speaker. Stay tuned.

Jeremy Truelove
05/29/2013 5:30am PDT

that would be great

Christopher Robinson
05/29/2013 5:15am PDT

Is there a link to the slides.


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