[swift-evolution] Swift and actors

Marc Schlichte marc.schlichte at googlemail.com
Tue Oct 3 07:45:24 CDT 2017

The Actor paradigm is widely used in the telecommunications industry. You might want to have a look at SDL (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specification_and_Description_Language) with its processes similar to Actors.

Btw Erlang with its early actor support started in the telecommunications industry too.

An advantage of the proposed actor design for Swift (and also present in Microsoft Orleans) over Akka and others is the use of value returning async actor methods which allow for a more procedural programming style  - as opposed to a pure message passing style which is indeed harder to follow / debug.


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Von: swift-evolution at swift.org
Gesendet: 2. Oktober 2017 11:59 vorm.
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Antworten: gerard_iglesias at me.com
Betreff: [swift-evolution] Swift and actors

Hi everybody,

Sadly I don’t have the time to participate on all the so interesting discussion about concurrency and actor stuff.

But I have a question.

I am working for 6 months in the Scala/Akka world, on a project (server stuff in a docker kubernates world) and after six months of work, and talk with Scala experts we are abandoning the actor paradigm. It is true that quickly the code is hard to follow, maybe our fault but I have to say that it seems me that the nature itself of the actor system bring some opaque way to follow what happen in the system. Even for a small set of actors.

It has been very fun to try an architecture based on Actors, but at the end, this is not easy to see what use case they are good for.

Then I wonder if we/you have good use case where Actor paradigm can show real advantages ?

Something obvious to me that the dev tools would need to be very advanced for debugging in case of actor model use.


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