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New Meetup: Erjang - A Java hacker in Erlang-land (London User Group Talk)

From: Andra D.
Sent on: Friday, January 22, 2010 10:38 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Erlang User Group!

What: Erjang - A Java hacker in Erlang-land (London User Group Talk)

When: Thursday, February 4,[masked]:30 PM

29 London Fruit & Wool Exchange
Brushfield Street E1 6EU
(0) 20 -[masked]

Join us for London Erlang User Group meeting on Thursday, 4th February 2010. Our guest will be Kresten Krab Thorup, CTO of Trifork. Kresten will talk about Erjang - a JVM-based virtual machine for Erlang. That's a very controversial topic both in Erlang and Java communities - you cannot miss this talk!

The meeting will be held in Erlang Solutions' meeting room on the 1st floor of the Fruit and Wool Exchange. For directions, visit our Contact page. Be there at 18.00 for an 18.30 start.

In order to attend this free event, you have to register. Registering allows us to plan refreshments accordingly, provide security with a list of names and ensure we have enough space. Register here, as places are limited!

For the past few months I have been working passionately on Erjang, a JVM-based virtual machine for Erlang. In this talk, I will discuss (a) why I am doing this, and (b) how Erjang works. These are two very different talks in one - but let me explain why you should come anyway:

Observation A: Looking just a few years down the road, concurrency modeling (and programming) will be increasingly important, driven by both new hardware architectures (multi-core), and our increasing use of networked services (SOA if you want).

Observation B: Recently, I have been meeting a lot of Erlang people, and I sense clearly that they have this enviable ability to think intuitively about parallel programming. It corresponds somewhat to the way we "object heads" think intuitively about classes and objects - just in terms of processes.

They model things with processes! If they can do it, everyone else should be able to do it too. So that is my mission: bring the intuition of Erlang programmers to the main stream programming scene. The first part of the talk is about that: what does it mean to be modeling with processes. What have I - so far - learned about how Erlang programmers think.

BUT! I think all this requires some new tools. You cannot just take Java, and start applying this kind of thinking. Or, that will be difficult at least. I'm totally a Java-head, so what can we do? We need to adopt new platforms, and there are a number of those starting to appear in context of Java; most notably Scala actors is getting a lot of attention.

So to figure all this out, I started *porting Erlang to the JVM*, and that has been a really interesting exercise, and I would like to take you through some of the issues, problems and solutions that arise from that challenge. So, this second part of the talk is really "looking at Erlang from a Java perspective", and I will take you though the various major language constructs in Erlang, and show how that maps to Java in the generated code. For me, this has been an excellent way to really learn Erlang, and I hope to convey some of what I learned to you too.

Kresten Krab Thorup is CTO of Trifork, a public Danish company ( providing software solutions to government and financial services providers. Trifork is also creator of the long-running JAOO conference, and co-creator of QCon. As Trifork CTO Kresten in responsible for technical strategy in customer solutions, and spends most of the time acting as internal consultant, researching future technologies, as well as being editor for JAOO and QCon conferences. Kresten has also been a principal contributor to Trifork's own Java EE certified application server "Trifork T4", where he authored the built-in CORBA ORB, a custom Java RMI implementation (now part of Apache Yoko), the transaction manager, the database connection management system, and the Java byte code rewriting subsystem.

Kresten has been a contributor to several open source projects, including GCC, GNU Objective-C, GNU Compiled Java, Emacs, and Apache Geronimo/Yoko. Before joining Trifork, Kresten worked at NeXT Software (now acquired by Apple), where he was responsible for the development of the Objective-C tool chain, the debugger, and the runtime system. Kresten was on the committee for JSR-14 (adding generics to Java) which was closely related to the subject of his Ph.D. thesis.

Most recently, Kresten has founded the Erjang open source project (notice the J there), a virtual machine for Erlang running on the Java Virtual Machine.

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