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Does Canvas Need a New Basic Engine That Effectively Multithreads?

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  • Does Canvas Need a New Basic Engine That Effectively Multithreads?

    I was using Canvas 17 GIS the other day and had reason to try to use the Combine tool in a GIS project (derived from TIGER) with all the counties in California. I wanted an outline of the entire group - the state boundary, which was not available at the place I got the other info from. What I got was a frozen (at least at the user interface) program. For hours. Looking at Task Manager, it was still alive, but was sitting at around 25% of CPU usage iow 1 core of 4. That's what Canvas has ALWAYS done, so apparently the upgrade to 64 bit hasn't done much internally at least with the Combine tool. Task Manager also noted Canvas using all of 15 threads - even some much smaller operating system items use dozens to over 100. A Combine traversal of all those objects to produce an outline should be something that could be parallelized and spread effectively over multiple cores.

    Anyway, I found a different dataset that had the outline already, so I terminated the Combine operation by simply killing the program in Task Manager (after over 2 hours) and restarted my project using the new dataset.

    On the plus side, since Canvas politely refused to monopolize the CPU (limiting its own performance instead), I had no problem using other software to hunt for the alternative data.