asynchronous: meaning…@@

When people talk about async, they could mean a few things.

Meaning — non-blocking thread. HTTP interaction is not async because the browser thread blocks.
* eg: email vs browser
* eg: async query

Meaning — initiating thread *returns* immediately, before the task is completed by another thread.

Meaning — no immediate response, less stringent demand on response time. HTTP server need to service the client right away since the client is blocking. As a web developer i constantly worry about round-trip duration.

Meaning — delayed response. In any design where a response is provided by a different thread, the requester generally don’t need immediate response. Requester thread goes on with its business.
* eg: email, MQ, producer/consumer
* eg: jms onMessage() vs poll, but RV is purely async
* eg: acknowledgement messages in zed, all-http

You can (but i won’t) think of these “meanings” as “features” of async.


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