Archive for November, 2014

the actor model

November 6th, 2014 No comments

Now that the reactive model is becoming the hot new thing in some circles – although still far from becoming a “popular” thing among average developers -, it’s a good thing to get more familiar with the actor model. Quoting from wikipedia,

The actor model in  computer science is a mathematical model of concurrent computation that treats “actors” as the universal primitives of concurrent computation: in response to a message that it receives, an actor can make local decisions, create more actors, send more messages, and determine how to respond to the next message received

Not that this is a new thing really, since the actor model comes from 1973, but many such innovations often take years and years to gain mainstream adaption (think for example lambdas or garbage collection, who seem like relatively new and welcome additions to main programming languages, but that were in Lisp way before).Some references to know more about the actor model then

There are also some interesting books in the market about the actor model, but these links are already a good introduction to this very interesting topic. The entry from wikipedia itself also offers a plethora of additional references.

Some frameworks, most notably Akka in the JVM / Scala world, and its .net porting,, as well as Microsoft’s own Orleans framework are the best known tools in the industry.

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