Talk:Polling (computer science)

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Another Example[edit]

In a computer, the CPU asks the hard disk for some data. Now there are many techniques to know when the hard disk is ready so we can retrieve that data. Polling is one of this techniques and consist in continuously ask the hard drive when this data is ready. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.125.57.216 (talkcontribs) 15:24, August 3, 2006

Broaden scope?[edit]

The accompanying article should probably be expanded and renamed from Polling (computer science) to (probably) Polling (electronics), a title that also includes the closely related polling in electronics, fire alarms, and (probably) telecommunications. (The last is doubtful only bcz it would also apply to non-electronic com systems like optical telegraphy.) If there is a need to distinguish among polling in those areas, to the extent of separate articles, that may emerge in writing the overall article.
I credit a colleague (whom i haven't troubled to identify) for drawing my attention to this point. They asserted it using -- mistakenly, since "poll" is not used in those articles -- the Dab Poll.
--Jerzyt 17:21, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I think computer science is correct - the difficulty is that computer science has traditionally covered a lot of material that is now unknown to computer programmers and only seen in electrical engineering. Note that polling is pretty much something that only occurs in a device with a microprocessor; even though this might involve a tiny cheap piece of hardware, this would have counted as a significant computer in the early days of computer science. Polling is essentially a software concept, and originates within computer science from the time the field was much more concerned with low level issues; when computer scientists programmed in assembler and electrical engineers generally built analog circuits. 131.172.99.15 (talk) 12:31, 22 April 2008 (UTC)snaxalotl

It's used in broader ways in modern computer science as well, to refer to basically anything that periodically checks (polls) for data or a condition. For example, a common setup of computer-music systems is for a computation thread to generate music, which it puts into queue; a second thread polls the queue periodically to see if there are things to output. (An alternative design uses semaphores or something similar to wake up the second thread instead of having it poll.) From that viewpoint, polling a physical device is just a special case. --Delirium (talk) 06:41, 3 May 2008 (UTC)