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Ruby Programming
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Mutual Exclusion

The lowest-level method of blocking other threads from running uses a global ``thread critical'' condition. When the condition is set to true (using the Thread.critical= method), the scheduler will not schedule any existing thread to run. However, this does not block new threads from being created and run. Certain thread operations (such as stopping or killing a thread, sleeping in the current thread, or raising an exception) may cause a thread to be scheduled even when in a critical section.

Using Thread.critical= directly is certainly possible, but it isn't terribly convenient. Fortunately, Ruby comes packaged with several alternatives. Of these, two of the best, class Mutex and class ConditionVariable, are available in the thread library module; see the documentation beginning on page 457.
Ruby Programming
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