[erlang-questions] Massive Numbers of Actors vs. Massive Numbers of Objects vs. ????

Paul Oliver <>
Tue Feb 28 18:13:44 CET 2012

Hi Miles,

Perhaps something like transactional mealy machines?


On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM, Miles Fidelman

> Folks,
> I'm trying to get a handle on core technology for an application that's
> going to involve massive numbers of entities - where the entities want to
> have characteristics that draw from both the object and actor models.
> Think of something like massive numbers of stored email messages, where
> each message is addressable, can respond to events, and in some cases can
> initiate events - for example, on receiving an email message, a reader can
> fill in a form, and have that update every copy of the message spread
> across dozens (or hundreds, or thousands) of mailboxes/folders distributed
> across the Internet. Or where an email message, stored in some folder, can
> wake up and send a reminder.
> One sort of wants to blend characteristics of:
> - messages (small, static, easy to store huge numbers, easy to move around)
> - objects (data and methods bound together, inheritance, ...)
> - actors (massive concurrency, active)
> The topic has come up before, in discussions of active objects, reactive
> objects, concurrent objects, etc. - I'm wondering what the current state of
> the art and practice look like.
> I'm thinking that Erlang might be nice operating environment for such a
> beast, but wonder at what point one hits limits in the numbers of actors
> floating around.  I'm also wondering what other environments might blend
> these characteristics.
> Thoughts? Comments?
> Thanks,
> Miles Fidelman
> --
> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
> In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra
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