[erlang-questions] Erlang is *not* a implementation of the Actor model Re: Go vs Erlang for distribution

Robert Virding <>
Wed Jun 25 00:09:35 CEST 2014


I think it is very lucky that we weren't interested in, or worried about,
the theoretical aspects, or that we had heard about the actor model. If we
had we would probably still be discussing whether we were doing the actor
model and which parts of it, or where we differed and how important that
was? Or should we differ and maybe we should drop the differences to we
would comply, etc ... :-)

We were trying to solve *THE* problem and this was the best solution we
could come with. It was purely pragmatic. We definitely took ideas from
other inputs but not from the Actor model.

Robert



On 24 June 2014 23:05, Miles Fidelman <> wrote:

> zxq9 wrote:
>
>  I think the more important aspect here being that its very hard to be
>> happy
>> with concurrency in a world where you have to handle every combination of
>> message*state, and that means fault tolerance is a neccessary component
>> of any
>> environment where one can happily build large concurrent systems. In
>> particular, any large system is non-trivial, and concurrency itself is
>> non-
>> trivial. Without fault-tolerance you wind up with an explosively complex
>> fault
>> situation to handle.
>>
>>
>> Come to think of it, I don't think it would be very easy to apply Erlang's
>> concept of fault-tolerance without pattern matching as a central feature
>> in
>> many areas of the language. I could be wrong, I'm just trying to imagine
>> an
>> alternative without pattern matching -- and I don't see any alternative
>> than
>> to emulate it with exclusive guards or something (which still equates to
>> pattern-matching, just less easy to read), which in the extreme case is
>> almost
>> as bad as the common practice in some languages of actually enumerating
>> every
>> negative case -- which usually vastly outnumber the positive cases -- and
>> providing an exception handler for each.
>>
> <snip>
>
> Well, falling further down the rabbit hole ....
>
> I kind of agree with you that massive concurrency and fault-tolerance go
> hand-in-hand.
>
> On the other hand, I kind of see pattern matching as more associated with
> message-oriented communication:  Somehow I don't see doing a lot of message
> selection and processing without pattern matching at the front end.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Miles
>
>
> --
> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
> In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra
>
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