Parallelism Labs From Microsoft


I did the PLINQ Lab this morning.  The lab itself is fairly short and givers a great overview of both the power of Parallelism and the ease of use in C#.  In addition, the last exercise shows how use Extension Methods on your IEnermable sources to further manipulate the data.  My only gripe is that the VM screen real estate is very small:


And you can’t change the resolution on the VM desktop to see more of the code.  The other gripe I have (only) is that the performance on the VM stinks – you literally wait 1-2 seconds after typing a character to see the intellisense to come up.  This kind of context delay makes it harder to retain the information in the lab.

I then started the Introducing .NET4 Parallel Extensions lab.  The screen delays were even worse so I took matters into my own hands.  I took some screen shots of the lab created a local project based on the starting solution.  One of the 1st tasks was to create a set of 20 random Employees.  Instead of hard-coding values into the list, and limiting the list to only 20 employees, I decided to create a random employee generator as a WCF Service.  That is the subject of this blog post

I had fun recreating the lab.  I then went through each exercise.  It did a good job explaining each of the aspects of Parallelism syntax.  I have 1 note and 1 gripe.  The note is that in the PLINQ,  you can see how the TaskManager split the dataset in two process  1 took the 1st 50% and process 2 took the last 50%.  Presumably, if I had a quad machine, it would be divided into four:


My 1 gripe has to do with the overuse of the ‘var’ keyword and the use of unreadable code in a public project.  Take a swing though this syntax:

            var q = employeeList.AsParallel()
                .Where(x => x.Id % 2 == 0)
                .OrderBy(x => x.Id)
                .Select(x => PayrollServices.GetEmployeeInfo(x))
            foreach (var e in q)


foreach(var e in q)??? Ugh!  A little more thought about variable names (q should be employeeListQuery, x should be employee, e should also be employee).  Oh well, the struggle continues…


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