Past Meetup

What happened to distributed programming languages? (Heather Miller)

This Meetup is past

69 people went

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We're very excited to have Heather Miller reprise her PWLConf talk (!


Nowadays, most programs we write are in some sense distributed—making HTTP requests or serving responses over HTTP, fetching or computing data on some remote resource, building some microservice that is meant to interact with others, etc. With all of this distribution going on, one might ask, what happened to distributed programming languages? Why are we still using languages like Java or C++ for these sorts of tasks? In this talk, Heather will take us on a whirlwind tour through history up to the present of distributed programming languages as well as programming constructs meant for distribution like futures and RPC. Together, we'll try to work out what happened to all of the distributed programming languages!

References Programming Models for Distributed Computation ( by Heather Miller and her students inCS7680 Special Topics in Computing Systems (, a course at Northeastern University

Distributed Programming in Argus ( by B. Liskov

Distribution and Abstract Types in Emerald ( by A.Black, N. Hutchinson, E. Jul, H. Levy, and L.Carter

The Linda alternative to message-passing systems ( by N.J. Carriero, D. Gelernter, T.G. Mattson, and A.H. Sherman

Scala Actors: Unifying thread-based and event-based programming ( by P. Haller and M. Odersky

Towards Haskell in the Cloud ( by J. Epstein, A.P. Black, and S.P. Jones

Lasp: A Language for Distributed, Coordination-Free Programming ( by C. Meiklejohn and P.V. Roy