Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Four Parts of Future Languages

Convergence in Language Design: A Case of Lightning Striking Four Times in the Same Place "In all four research projects, the programming language has a layered structure. In its most general form, the language has four layers."

1. "The inner layer is a strict functional language. All four projects start with this layer."

2. "The second layer adds deterministic concurrency. Deterministic concurrency is sometimes called declarative or dataflow concurrency."

3. "The third layer adds asynchronous message passing. This leads to a simple message-passing model in which concurrent entities send messages asynchronously."

4. "The fourth layer adds global mutable state. Three of the four projects have global mutable state as a final layer, provided for different reasons, but always with the understanding that it is not used as often as the other layers. In the Erlang project, the mutable state is provided as a persistent database with a transactional interface. In the network transparency project, the mutable state is provided as an ob ject store with a transactional interface and as a family of distributed protocols that is used to guarantee coherence of state across the distributed system."
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