3.4.2. Mechanisms for Controlling Concurrency
Exercise 3.41

Serialized make-account

Ben Bitdiddle worries that it would be better to implement the bank account as follows (where the commented line has been changed):

(define (make-account balance)
  (define (withdraw amount)
    (if (>= balance amount)
        (begin (set! balance (- balance amount))
               balance)
        "Insufficient funds"))
  (define (deposit amount)
    (set! balance (+ balance amount))
    balance)
  (let ((protected (make-serializer)))
    (define (dispatch m)
      (cond ((eq? m 'withdraw) (protected withdraw))
            ((eq? m 'deposit) (protected deposit))
            ((eq? m 'balance)
             ((protected (lambda () balance)))) ; serialized
            (else (error "Unknown request -- MAKE-ACCOUNT"
                         m))))
    dispatch))

because allowing unserialized access to the bank balance can result in anomalous behavior. Do you agree? Is there any scenario that demonstrates Ben's concern?


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