Mar 3, 2014: Domains: Safe Sharing Among Actors
The actor model is a pretty nice abstraction to reason about completely independent entities that interact purely by exchanging messages. However, for software development, some see the pure actor model as too fine-grained and too restrictive exposing many of the low-level issues such as data races again on a higher level again, and thereby forgoing some of its conceptual benefits.
Today, I gave a talk at the ExaScience Lab, Intel Labs Europe in Leuven at IMEC. I talked mainly about the idea of nondeterministic programming, the Sly programming language and some details on our Smalltalk manycore virtual machine that enables those experiments. Thus, tried to spread the word about our Renaissance project at bit further.
The last half year was an interesting departure from my actual PhD research. First, I though the idea of barriers and phasers might be interesting to incorporate into a virtual machine as part of my thesis, but as it turned out, they are much to high-level and are better off implemented in a library. The gain for direct support in a VM is just not proportional to the effort and restrictions which come with that step.