A Tour of ParallelExtensionsExtras

Throughout the development of Parallel Extensions for the .NET Framework 4, we’ve come across a myriad of situations where certain functionality would be useful in developing a particular application or library, but where that functionality isn’t quite encapsulated in the bits we’re shipping.  Sometimes this functionality is too application-specific to be included in the core of the Framework, and other times we haven’t been sure how broadly applicable the functionality is, nor did we have the time to fully design it, test it, solicit feedback on it, and so forth.

Luckily, in the vast majority of these cases, we’ve been able to build this functionality on top of the parallelizatino constructs provided in .NET 4, in some cases simply containing .NET 4 types and methods, and in other cases taking advantage of extensibility points provided in .NET 4 for the explicit purpose of enabling developers to provide their own customized functionality where the Framework leaves off.  Over time, we’ve amassed a wealth of code of this ilk, and we’ve chosen to expose most of it through the ParallelExtensionsExtras project available as part of our .NET 4 samples, which can be downloaded at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/ParExtSamples.

 

ParallelExtensionsExtras is not a fully tested nor stable code base, and we’re continually augmenting it with additional functionality, but it does provide a wealth of code you can use as a starting point for your own solutions or simply as a learning tool to understand how various kinds of functionality might be implemented. Starting today, we’ll be presenting a series of blog posts in which we’ll walk through a subset of this functionality, detailing its implementation and discussing how and when such functionality would be applicable.  If you have any requests, questions, or comments along the way, please do let us know.  In particular, we’re very interested in knowing what, if any, of this functionality you’d be interested in seeing productized and included in the .NET Framework in the future.

Enjoy!

Posts thus far in the series:

  1. More to come…