Parallel processing in Python à la Grand Central Dispatch?

Is there a way of doing parallel processing in Python using concepts similar to those of Apple's Grand Central Dispatch? Grand Central Dispatch looks, from the outset, like a nice way of handling parallel processing.

If Python does not have a mostly equivalent module, what are the fundamental concepts behind Grand Central Dispatch that could usefully be implemented in Python?

I don't know much about Grand Central Dispatch, hence this question: I would love to know whether Grand Central Dispatch uses paradigms that (1) are not yet available in Python, and/or (2) could be implemented in Python.


  • Python does not have an equivalent module, though twisted uses many of the same basic concepts (async APIs, callback-based). The Python multiprocessing module actually uses sub-processes rather than threads and is not particularly equivalent either. The best approach would probably be one similar to that taken by MacRuby, which is to create wrappers for the GCD APIs and use those. Unlike Python, of course, MacRuby was also designed not to have a GIL (Global Interpreter Lock) and this will reduce the effectiveness of multi-threading in Python as various interpret threads hit the GIL at different times. Not much to do about that other than redesign the language, I'm afraid.