Re: coarse-grained object and fine-grain object

Tom Anderson <>
Tue, 7 Sep 2010 23:58:20 +0100
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On Tue, 7 Sep 2010, Lew wrote:

Lew wrote:

Eric and Arved already answered that question.

gk wrote:

Did you read what I posted ? That is not the answer to what I posted .


Yes, I did, O Snarky One. ?Did you read what they posted?


Yes. I read and posted the summary ?after reading from there also.
However,that was not exactly what I wanted to know. Please see my
latest post , I found my answer and just posted the answer. You will
get a feel what I was asking.

Your summary substantially restates what they told you.

That's what a summary is, isn't it?

I have to say, i've been following this thread, and i've realised i don't
have a very good grasp of what coarseness of grain means when applied to
objects. I can tell you what it means for locks - row vs table vs database
locks, for example, or device vs subsystem vs kernel - or access control,
but not really for objects.

I have a gut feeling for how it applies to distributed object systems,
which roughly boils down to whether you end up making lots of little
calls, or a few big ones. For example, a mortgage application processor
that looked like:

interface MortgageApplication {
  void setProperty(Property house);
  void addApplication(Applicant app);
  void apply();
  boolean hasBeenProcessed();
  boolean accepted();

interface Property {
  void setPostcode(Postcode pc);
  void setValuation(int valuation);

// etc

Would be fine-grained. Whereas one which looked like:

interface MortgageApplicationProcessor {
  boolean apply(Property house, List<Application> apps);

class Property implements Serializable [

// etc

Would be coarse-grained. But really, that's more about a sliding scale
between classical early-90s distributed-object style and a good old
fashioned RPC. I don't think the *objects* involved in either mode are
more fine-grained; after all, i have exactly the same set of types!

The problem with objects is that big ones are made of smaller ones. How
can you have anything other than fine-grained objects?

Perhaps coarseness of grain isn't about what the objects are, but what you
*do* with them - whether you lock one at a time, or hundreds; whether you
allow access to one at a time, or hundreds; whether you send one at a time
over the network, or hundreds. Maybe the objects are the ruler with which
you measure the grain.


As far as I can tell it's a mixture of stream-of-consciousness writing,
random mathematical formulae, and half-crazed references to sex.

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