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The nun Satou approached Java master Banzen and said: “There is a processing bottleneck which I believe I can eliminate by means of multiple worker threads. Yet I have heard this proverb: If you are confronted with a problem and say, ‘I shall use threads’, you now have two problems.”

Banzen replied: “The saying is old, but not a true proverb. In place of threads I have heard XML, regular expressions, singletons, and AWK. It is merely a formula of one parameter which may be bound to anything disagreeable. There is more wisdom in the barking of dogs.”

The nun considered this, and said: “So if you are confronted with a problem and say, ‘I shall use the Proverb of the Two Problems’, you now have two problems.”

Banzen gave the nun a slight nod, which pleased her. Yet he also held up his index finger. “That the words are hollow does not make them false. Threads are as the fabled Tsurugi of Infinite Sharpness, whose blade can slice an enemy in two while it is still a foot from his body, yet which severs one finger of the wielder every time it is drawn from its scabbard.”

The nun asked: “How will I know when I have learned enough to use threads wisely?”

Banzen replied: “When you no longer wish to use them.”

Topics...  threads