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

Joe Armstrong <>
Wed Jun 25 18:29:10 CEST 2014


On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM, Miles Fidelman <>
wrote:

>
>  On Wednesday 25 June 2014 00:09:35 Robert Virding wrote:
>>
>>> 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, I know it's probably documented somewhere, but...
> 1. what do (did) you see as "*THE* problem" you were trying to solve at
> the time
>

Joe here - I'll dive in with a reply:

Bjarne Däckers thesis has a good outline of the problem the thesis is
here http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.88.1957

This blog has a good summary of Bjarnes thesis

http://jlouisramblings.blogspot.se/2012/10/ramblings-on-thesis-of-bjarne-dacker.html


> 2. what sources DID you draw from (other than the predecessor languages at
> Ericsson), are there any that you'd consider primary influences?
>
>
Prolog and Smalltalk in equal measure. Pattern matching and syntax was
inspired by Prolog. Messaging from Smalltalk. We took a few ideas on
guarded commands from
Dijkstra.

The message queues were largely inspired by SDL and occam (SDL has a
graphic notation very similar to selective receive)

Links were invented by Mike Williams and based on the idea of a C-wire (a
form of electrical circuit breaker).

Cheers

/Joe



> Thanks!
>
>
> Miles
>
>
>
> --
> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
> In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra
>
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