[erlang-questions] How to Name Concurrency Patterns

Miles Fidelman <>
Wed Feb 19 23:43:30 CET 2014

Loïc Hoguin wrote:
> On 02/19/2014 10:14 PM, Joe Armstrong wrote:
>> Hello, I'm giving a course in distributed and parallel programming in
>> Erlang ...
>> Next week I'll be talking about common concurrency patterns, I was
>> talking with the course adviser, and I rattled off the names of a few
>> concurrency patterns that were well-known and easy to explain. I said
>> I'll do PUB-SUB, pipeline, map-reduce, parallel map, and so on.
>> At this stage the course adviser said that a) things like PUB-SUB
>> would not be familiar to the students and that b) It would take more
>> than 5-10 minutes to explain PUB_SUB.
> Your course adviser lacks imagination. It takes a few seconds to 
> explain PUB-SUB. These things are PUB-SUB:
>  *  Twitter
>  *  Facebook
>  *  Mailing lists
>  *  IRC channel / group chat
>  *  Newsletter

I'd agree with that assessment (advisor lacking imagination). PUB-SUB is 
easy to describe, the name is based on a historically familiar model

The other examples I'd use for pub-sub are:
- RSS & Atom
- cable tv channels
- magazine

For pipeline: Is it fair to expect students in a course that's looking 
at concurrency to already be somewhat familiar with Unix, and pipes?  
Then again, there are also the physical analogs - e.g., gas and oil 
pipelines; bucket brigades.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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