ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Scott Lystig Fritchie was a UNIX systems administrator until he
returned to programming full-time at Sendmail, Inc. While at Sendmail
in 2000, a colleague introduced him to Erlang. His world hasn't been
the same since.
In addition to writing Erlang and occasionally C for the Erlang
virtual machine, he has had papers published by USENIX, the Erlang
User Conference, and the ACM and has given presentations at Erlang
Factory, Code BEAM, and Ricon. Scott works at Wallaroo Labs on a
polyglot distributed system of Pony, Python, and C.
Erlang and Elixir/OTP programmers take the Actor Model of computation
for granted. Processes that communicate only by message passing makes building concurrent applications easy. The Pony language started with the same foundation as Erlang: message passing between independent,
concurrent computing units.
But the inventor of the Actor Model, Dr. Carl Hewitt, says that Erlang
does not implement the Actor Model. Erlang co-creators Joe Armstrong
and Robert Virding both agree with Hewitt. Why? Let's explore how
Hewitt defines the Actor Model, how the BEAM VM implements parts of
the Actor Model, and how the Pony language (which is statically-typed
and VM-less) implements the Actor Model in similar & different ways.
- Have a solid understanding of what the Actor Model of computing is
and the BEAM VM's interpretation of the model.
- You will be very tempted to start writing safe, fast, concurrent
programs in Pony.
- You'll start seeing differences in other actor languages &
frameworks used in industry, such as E, Scala, Akka, and Orleans.