Ruby - Create and Execute a Basic Thread

1. Introduction

Threading is a powerful concept in programming that enables concurrent execution of tasks. In Ruby, the Thread class provides functionalities to create and manage threads. In this article, we'll dive into creating and executing a basic thread in Ruby.

A Thread is the smallest sequence of programmed instructions that can be managed independently by a scheduler, which is typically a part of the operating system. In Ruby, threads allow multiple operations to run concurrently within the same process. This can be particularly beneficial for tasks like I/O operations, where the program might otherwise be waiting and doing nothing.

2. Program Steps

1. Import necessary libraries/modules if any.

2. Define the logic or function you want the thread to execute.

3. Create a new Thread object and pass the logic or function to it.

4. Start the thread.

5. Use the join method if you want the main program to wait for the thread to complete execution.

3. Code Program

# Step 1: No additional libraries are needed for basic threading in Ruby.
# Step 2: Define the logic to be executed by the thread
def print_numbers
  5.times do |i|
    puts "Thread printing number: #{i}"
# Step 3: Create the thread
number_thread = { print_numbers }
# Step 4: Optionally wait for the thread to finish before the main program continues


Thread printing number: 0
Thread printing number: 1
Thread printing number: 2
Thread printing number: 3
Thread printing number: 4


1. Thread: The Thread class in Ruby provides functionalities for threading. In our example, we create an instance of this class to run our logic concurrently.

2. print_numbers: This is a sample method we defined to simulate some logic that our thread will execute. It simply prints numbers 0 through 4 at half-second intervals.

3. { print_numbers }: Here, we're creating a new thread and passing the print_numbers method to it. The code inside the block will be executed by the thread.

4. sleep(0.5): This causes the thread to pause for half a second between printing numbers. It's used to simulate some time-consuming tasks.

5. number_thread.join: The join method makes sure the main program waits for the number_thread to finish execution before moving on. Without this line, the main program might finish executing while the thread is still running, leading to unpredictable behavior.

With threads, we can efficiently utilize the system's resources and improve the responsiveness of our applications. However, care must be taken to manage and synchronize threads properly to avoid potential pitfalls like race conditions.