[erlang-questions] Erlang and Akka

Darach Ennis <>
Tue Aug 26 23:18:36 CEST 2014


Hi guys,

Comparing Akka to Erlang/OTP is complex by its very nature. Akka streams and
transactors have no direct translation to Erlang/OTP for example, at least
to my
knowledge. Akka as a recent incarnation of the actor model has some ideas
that
should inspire innovation in OTP. Akka clustering, for example, was
inspired by
Riak core. So when we compare Akka are we including that? Should we widen
OTP to include riak core to have a fairer comparison to Akka?

If you are in a JVM environment. It is far better to adopt Akka than to
roll your own
actor style framework. However, if your domain lends itself well to natural
concurrency
it will be fairly easier to describe and implement that system using
Erlang/OTP.

If, on the other hand, you require fine grained concurrency control and
multi-threading
then the JVM *will* suit you better, on average, but it'll cost you at the
long tail, and when
the the stop-the-world pause hits you, it can hit you terribly awfuly badly
(unless you have
mastered the art of JVM and GC tuning - there are over 800 tunables, so
good luck!). Its just
something one has to get used to when dealing with the JVM.

Ultimately, making an informed choice between Erlang/OTP and JVM/Akka
requires deeper
thinking. There isn't enough overlap between the communities to be easily
able to weed
out individual or community bias (I am tarring myself with this brush too!)
For your application, it
is already using Erlang, so why not check out some of the cassandra
bindings available such
as (in no particular order):

https://github.com/dieswaytoofast/erlang_cassandra
https://github.com/matehat/cqerl
https://github.com/RJ/erlang-cassandra-cql


Cheers,

Darach.









On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 8:45 PM, Lee Sylvester <>
wrote:

> My thoughts are simply that, where Erlang was designed from the ground up
> to cater, Akka has been built on top of a platform that has not.  There is
> much that Erlang provides for free that just makes life easy.  Akka may do
> this, too, but since it’s built on the JVM, you’re bound to run into some
> headaches.
>
> Lee
>
>
> On 26 Aug 2014, at 20:34, Youngkin, Rich <>
> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> I'm working on an application written in Erlang. In recent months there
> have been more and more questions questioning Erlang/OTP.  There is general
> recognition that many of the Erlang/OTP's features (e.g., immutable
> state,supervision) are beneficial.  The questions mostly revolve around
> availability of Erlang expertise and supporting libraries (e.g., Cassandra
> support just to name one whereas Akka has the entire JVM ecosystem
> available to it). Akka has been proposed as an alternative to Erlang.
>
> Googling around for good comparisons between Erlang and Akka hasn't turned
> up a lot of useful information, but there is some (e.g.,
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4491039/how-does-akka-compare-to-erlang
> ).
>
> I'd be interested if anyone in this community has any advice and/or
> opinions regarding Erlang vs. Akka.  Anyone?
>
> Thanks,
> Rich
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