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Microsoft Releases New Concurrent Programming Language 297

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the secret-agent-man dept.
zokier writes "Microsoft has released a new programming language called Axum, previously known as Maestro and based on the actor model. It's meant to ease development of concurrent applications and thus making better use of multi-core processors. Axum does not have capabilities to define classes, but as it runs on the .NET platform, Axum can use classes made with C#. Microsoft has not committed to shipping Axum since it is still in an incubation phase of development so feedback from developers is certainly welcome."
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Microsoft Releases New Concurrent Programming Language

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  • by Alethes (533985) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:26PM (#27908539)

    Now you know. [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      Next question asked is WHY has Microsoft have to invent one when there are others available already?

      Probably the answer is "Because they can" and they see a business in locking in people into their environment.

      • by Alethes (533985) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:36PM (#27908703)

        Because the PHBs like a single vendor. Nothing confuses them more than saying, "We're getting the OS from Microsoft, the database from Oracle, the language from Sun and the hardware from Dell." The less companies in this list, the better, regardless of the merits of technology.

        • by molarmass192 (608071) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:51PM (#27908973) Homepage Journal
          Oh, you mean like C, C++, and BASIC? The reality is the most popular languages for MS platforms were not MS inventions.
          • by Tanktalus (794810) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:01PM (#27909137) Journal

            "What do you mean? We bought you Visual Studio with Visual C/C++ and Visual BASIC!"

            Don't confuse them with facts. They'll just retaliate by making your life worse.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Grishnakh (216268)

            Visual BASIC is so unlike the BASICs I learned in the 80s on the Commodore, Apple, and other small computers that it might as well be a different language.

            Also, MS isn't pushing developers to use C or C++ any more, they're pushing them to use C# and .NET, which are MS inventions.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by davester666 (731373)

          "It's meant to ease development of concurrent applications and thus making better use of multi-core processors."

          should really be

          "It's meant to get developers to continue to use Microsoft-only technology, so IT departments will have to keep buying Microsoft client and server OS licenses."

        • by afabbro (33948) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:52PM (#27910001) Homepage

          Because the PHBs like a single vendor. Nothing confuses them more than saying, "We're getting the OS from Microsoft, the database from Oracle, the language from Sun and the hardware from Dell." The less companies in this list, the better, regardless of the merits of technology.

          This is not true of every Fortune 500 shop I've ever worked in. Most PHBs never met a platform they didn't like. Hell, at my current gig, we have mainframe, AS/400, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Linux (2 distros!), Windows, Oracle, DB/2, Sybase, MySQL, JBoss, Websphere, Cisco, Foundry, etc.

          Lots of big shops are heterogenous to the point of pathology.

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            It seems to me that it's usually the small shops that are really stuck on MS products, even though with their lesser resources they have the most to gain from exploring competing alternatives.

      • by theArtificial (613980) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:46PM (#27908879)
        Synergy. "With our development suite you have tools that specialise in X Y Z allowing you to do A B C. Give us your money."

        I thought the general consensus on this site especially with regards to open source software was that choice is a good thing? I'm sure if they used an existing language Microsoft would employ an embrace and extend strategy that would have developers/purists up in arms.
      • by chthon (580889) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:52PM (#27909001) Homepage Journal

        The Actors Model is around 40 years old. Scheme was based upon it. Lisp have already shown in the eighties to be good at concurrent programming. Just NIH syndrome.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Burkin (1534829)

        Next question asked is WHY has Microsoft have to invent one when there are others available already?

        Because you would whine and bitch about them "stealing" the language if they were to co-opt another concurrent programming language to run in their .NET environment.

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:33PM (#27909677)

          Because you would whine and bitch about them "stealing" the language if they were to co-opt another concurrent programming language to run in their .NET environment.

          Come on, who ever complained about Microsoft "stealing" any of the existing languages supportted by .Net? That was not true for Eiffel or managed C++ or IronPython, or... you get the point.

          Now it is true that C# was taken lock, stock and barrel from Java when the Microsoft embrace and extend strategy was slapped down there (read the memos), but no-one ever complained about other languages being added in just as no-one accuses Java of "stealing" all the languages that VM supports now. So using an existing concurrent language would make a lot of sense and annoy no-one.

          • by Burkin (1534829) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:36PM (#27909745)

            Come on, who ever complained about Microsoft "stealing" any of the existing languages supportted by .Net? That was not true for Eiffel or managed C++ or IronPython, or... you get the point.

            Actually there have been many criticisms of IronPython and Managed C++ in the usual "embrace, extend" whining on this site and on other tech sites.

            So using an existing concurrent language would make a lot of sense and annoy no-one.

            Bullshit. People would whine no matter what because it's Microsoft.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Probably the answer is "Because they can" and they see a business in locking in people into their environment.

        Because they want to add to the .NET suite with a forward-thinking language. Like it or not, .NET is big for Microsoft, and giving people who use it more tools will only help their position. How you feel about that, of course, depends on how you feel about .NET and Microsoft.

      • by x2A (858210) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:26PM (#27909561)

        Why develop TFT when there's already cathode ray tubes out there that will display picture?

        Why invent new cars when there are clearly other cars out there that will get you from A to B?

        Why invent motor powered vehicals when we have legs and bicycles?

        Why invent geared bicycles when there are already pennyfarthings?

        Why plant seeds when there's already food in my cupboard?

        Why were you born when there're clearly other people out there that exist?

        Stupid questions? Maybe, but you started it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cowdung (702933)

        Because the business of computer languages has nothing to do with technical merit or academic proof. Languages today are nothing more than brands that are sold (and resold) to programmers.

        The language to get most mindshare wins.

      • Next question asked is WHY has Microsoft have to invent one when there are others available already?

        Microsoft had to invent one because there are others available that (a) don't come from Microsoft, (b) don't target Microsoft platforms preferentially or exclusively. If, say, Erlang catches on for implementing the core of concurrent systems, there are a lot of ways people might provide interoperability with that core, but using .NET isn't really likely to be one of them. So Microsoft needs its own concurrent

      • by Ralish (775196) <ralish@gma i l . c om> on Monday May 11, 2009 @02:42PM (#27910791)

        Next question asked is WHY has Microsoft have to invent one when there are others available already?

        I'd suggest several major reasons:
        1. Integration with the .NET Environment.
        2. Integration with the Visual Studio IDE.
        3. Maximise control of the style of the language, featureset and its future direction.

        If you check the wikipedia page the parent linked to, there are already stacks of concurrent programming languages available, it's not like there's some universal standard concurrency language out there Microsoft is trying to displace. That, and the above points, particularly with respect to .NET, does give it a unique feature that distinguishes it from other concurrent languages (even if you loathe .NET, it still separates it from the rest).

        Probably the answer is "Because they can" and they see a business in locking in people into their environment.

        Yes and no. You can take the whole lock-in argument (not entirely unreasonably), but you can also take the argument that for those who don't actually have a need to develop something for multiple platforms, a language fundamentally focused on a Windows-centric design with related tools is probably a huge positive. Why code in a language with a crap toolset/IDE (assuming there is one) and various other potential problems when MS offers one that plugs into .NET, VS, and is guaranteed to work great on Windows out of the box? That, and if you're already familiar with the above, the migration path I suspect is quite easy.

        Of course, this being .NET based, Mono may or may not support some of this stuff. No idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Next question asked is WHY has Microsoft have to invent one when there are others available already?

        As with most other Microsoft languages - because, while this is a research project currently, it may well become productized in 5 years, and at that point they'll want something that looks familiar, at least syntactically, to C# programmers, so as to not scare them away. It's not a new thing, either - Spec# [wikipedia.org] is a similar research language based on C#, but for Design by Contract (and bits of DbC based on it will be in .NET 4.0, though as library features, and not in the language proper). C-omega [wikipedia.org] was another p

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BasharTeg (71923)

        Next question asked is WHY has Microsoft have to invent one when there are others available already?

        Yes, clearly the concurrent programming language problem is all wrapped up and doesn't need any further innovations or development.

        It's ridiculous how hostile people are to what happen to be really cool Microsoft research projects. I know it doesn't mesh well with the idea that Microsoft steals everything and invents nothing but if you're more interested in Computer Science rather than pushing an anti-Micros

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:27PM (#27908569) Journal
    Much like web services, the importance seems to be in the interfaces. After scanning the developer's guide, the most important aspect of this language seems to be that it's a C# plus Axum libraries that allow you to describe "channels" with input/output keywords. Your Primary Channel is your main program or main 'thread.' If you define an input like:

    input int foo;

    in your channel class then you can communicate with agent instances that implement that channel quite easily like:

    bar_agent::foo <-- 134;

    If the data can't be sent over a channel you use (and this word should sound familiar to you web guys) a schema.

    From there on out it gets a lot more complicated with state and domain communications/sharing. It looks better thought out than most of Microsoft's libraries I've been forced to use but--as always--new languages need many releases before they are production worthy. A noble effort to simplify concurrency. With some really slick operator coding and overloading, you could probably get a similar thing going in Java or C++.

    One last thing I'd like to bitch about is that this download is an MSI. Really? You really need to do that? For the love of christ, I'm a developer. Could you please just give me a standalone zipped up SDK directory that I could add to my path if I want to? I'm not even going to install this because it's going to get all up in my registry n' shit.

    • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:35PM (#27908689)

      One last thing I'd like to bitch about is that this download is an MSI. Really? You really need to do that? For the love of christ, I'm a developer. Could you please just give me a standalone zipped up SDK directory that I could add to my path if I want to? I'm not even going to install this because it's going to get all up in my registry n' shit.

      While I realize that bitching about MS products is a common hobby, you could just extract the files directly [tech-recipes.com] and avoid any installation.

      msiexec ships with Vista (and possibly earlier versions of Windows, I haven't checked). There are a number of third party programs that could do it as well, just look around.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        I believe it ships with 2000, it's certainly in XP. Updated versions of it are available through Windows Update, although most packages will work fine with older versions of msiexec.

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)
      I understand your protest to using msi, but I don't believe installing add-ons to Visual Studio requires registry entries, it just extracts the files in a directory in your Program Files folder (and probably installs assemblies to the GAC). Seriously, though? You WANT to stick crap in the path for a IDE? (And even if you're using msbuild and the command line, csc.exe takes parameters, not environment variables.)
      At least Microsoft is using msi's, and not random installer programs like everyone else.
    • by ipoverscsi (523760) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:01PM (#27909141)

      Off topic, but here goes.

      The package must be shipped as a Windows Installer simply because it's got .NET objects in it. These objects must be installed in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC), which means they must be versioned and reference counted. It is possible (though unlikely) that the installer doesn't even create any registry entries.

      Now, .NET was supposed to give us "xcopy installs", so it's possible that MS could ship a ZIP SDK pacakge; but then you'd be responsible for lugging around all of your dependencies from install to install of your own software. Plus, then MS would have to manage two different installation packages, and we all know how easy it is to keep different versions of the same thing in sync.

    • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:05PM (#27909247)

      For the love of christ, I'm a developer.

      MS applies that term to Visual Basic users too, you know.

    • by owlstead (636356) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:43PM (#27909831)

      With some really slick operator coding and overloading, you could probably get a similar thing going in Java or C++.

      Except, of course, that Java does not do operator coding/overloading, or you'd have to tinker with the language itself (which is frowned upon by the Java community).

      • by pbaer (833011)
        Java doesn't let developers overload operators, but the language does anyways. It's frustrating that + is overloaded to mean add numbers and concatenate strings, but I'm not allowed to do something similar in my own programs.
    • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:48PM (#27909927)

      As a developer you should be fully aware of the fact that you can extract the files from the MSI if you really want to. I'll help though. For most MSI files a simple:

      msiexec /a filename.msi /qb TARGETDIR=C:\tmpdir

      Will do what you want.

      There is also the Less MSIerables app from the WiX project: http://sourceforge.net/projects/wix/ [sourceforge.net] that will let you extract the files directly. Plenty of tools to accomplish what you want if you'd take the 2 seconds to Google for it.

      You should also be aware of the fact that the MSI probably goes ahead and integrates the SDK with Visual Studio so the libraries, binaries and help are in path and available without a bunch of extra crap to do on your part, which for me personally, I'd rather have it do than wasting my time trying to figure out what needs to be done even if they did bother to document everything.

      I realize that most of the slashdot crowd thinks having to do everything from the command line based on a man page is a good thing, but for the rest of us it stopped being cool when we got out of school and had to get a job where they expected us to actually get shit done and not sit around all day with our thumbs up our asses playing with Linux.

    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:49PM (#27909931)

      Much like web services, the importance seems to be in the interfaces. After scanning the developer's guide, the most important aspect of this language seems to be that it's a C# plus Axum libraries that allow you to describe "channels" with input/output keywords.

      After scanning the guide as well, it reads a lot like Erlang as "improved" by a Java/C# lover. You get a lot of syntax to make strict specification, which is a win, but the result is that the language isn't very light on its feet or Lispy in the way Erlang is.

      For example: Axum seems to have a pretty strict type system, which gives you the ability to catch compile-time errors more cleanly, but on the other hand, there doesn't seem to be a simple way of creating a Tuple or Array literal without using a function. And at that, while it uses concurrency like Haskel or Erlang, it doesn't appear to be at all pure-functional, or maybe it is but the design is already burping with an "isolated" keyword that warns the compiler to forbid modification of static vars within the function body.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        After scanning the guide as well, it reads a lot like Erlang as "improved" by a Java/C# lover.

        It's probably just your perspective :) I'd say it's more like C# improved by an Erlang lover, and it's probably closer to the truth.

        For example: Axum seems to have a pretty strict type system, which gives you the ability to catch compile-time errors more cleanly, but on the other hand, there doesn't seem to be a simple way of creating a Tuple or Array literal without using a function.

        Actually, they have one example of an array literal in the paper - apparently, it's just curly braces:

        For example, the following expression combines output from two interaction points ip1 and ip2 and passes the result on to an interaction point twoNumbers:

        receive( { ip1, ip2 } &>- twoNumbers );

        The expression above uses curly braces for array creation. In Axum, implicit array creation is a convenient syntactic construct that is used often when building network expressions ...

        I don't know about tuple literals though. If they use the stock tuples from .NET 4.0 (as they probably should later on), which is System.Tuple generic class "overloaded" for varying number of type parameters, then tuples can be created with Tuple.Create(n1, n2, ...) call - whic

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      I'm curious: Operating on the assumption that you've at least tried Linux, do you bitch about .deb/.rpm/.tgz (with install scripts) too? All of these serve essentially the same purposes as .msi:

      Dependency checking ("You need to have .NET 3.5 before installing this, let me grab that for you").
      Installation tracking and easy repair installations or un-installs.
      A built-in way to distribute a package or update across many machines.
      A standard way of packing multiple files (msi packages can in fact be extracted; t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I already imagine job offer
    - Minimum 5 years experience with Axum

    • Hardy har har:

      Wanted Windows 7.0 Axum developer, must work with .Net 4.0 and Microsoft Office 2010, must have minimum of five years of experience in all of them, knowledge of standardized OOXML by the ISO a must.

      No open source developers accepted, must have at least a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science minoring in Axom programming and Concurrent Languages knowledge.

      Of course they will get thousands of submissions from people in India, China, and Russia claiming to have such experience on their resumes, r

    • by Jekler (626699)
      LOL! In 1998 I was looking for a job as a web developer. I had about 2 years experience, and I saw ads for 10+ years HTML experience. I explained to an interviewer it wasn't even possible for anyone to have 10 years of HTML experience, that the language didn't exist 10 years ago and anyone who tells you they have 10+ years experience is lying. I explained that even Tim Berners Lee doesn't have 10 years experience. The interviewer just shrugged and said "Well, that's one of the job requirements. We're
  • My feedback (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:29PM (#27908605)

    The windows version works great, but Axum on Linux isn't ready for prime time, yet. However, Axum is powerful enough that you should probably change your platform to permit its use, so if you have a new app being developed, I'd force your engineers to use Axum and develop it on windows.

    And I know what I'm talking about because I'm an IT manager at a Fortune 500 company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Divebus (860563)

      Exactly. More proprietary digital glop from Microsoft.

    • by ultrabot (200914) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:39PM (#27908755)

      Axum on Linux isn't ready for prime time, yet. However, Axum is powerful enough that you should probably change your platform to permit its use, so if you have a new app being developed, I'd force your engineers to use Axum and develop it on windows.

      I agree. I'm uninstalling Linux as we speak.

      I expect 15% of the software to be written in Axum within 4 year, with the rest being split between Ruby on Rails, Silverlight and Adobe Flash Player (tm).

    • And I know what I'm talking about because I'm an IT manager at a Fortune 500 company.

      Chortle.

    • And I know what I'm talking about because I'm an IT manager at a Fortune 500 company.

      You wield that sentence like you think it's a sudo command. Unfortunately, this [xkcd.com] doesn't work in real life.

  • This will be fun... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tenek (738297) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:35PM (#27908683)
    I see Microsoft is doing its best to help developers all over the world create race conditions. I wonder how many programmers there are who never really 'got' concurrency. Hopefully I'm not one of them. (And no, there is no programming language that can prevent you from screwing it up.)
    • by Tetsujin (103070) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:09PM (#27909301) Homepage Journal

      I see Microsoft is doing its best to help developers all over the world create race conditions. I wonder how many programmers there are who never really 'got' concurrency. Hopefully I'm not one of them. (And no, there is no programming language that can prevent you from screwing it up.)

      Concurrent programming is becoming increasingly important for any kind of high-performance project. This doesn't necessarily mean one needs a "concurrent programming language" to do it - but whatever the chosen mechanism, the goal is the same - write a program that uses all cores effectively. One way or another, professional programmers are going to need to 'get' concurrency in the coming years.

      The benefit of a language that provides parallelization as a basic assumption is that the language itself can provide infrastructure (for message-passing, task-scheduling, and so on) useful to the task. Such a language encourages programmers to think about problems in terms of how they can be parallelized, but leaves the compiler or the runtime engine free to make decisions about how the parallelization is to occur.

      Another benefit of such a language is that a language that takes certain ideas as base assumptions can help guide the programmer's approach to a solution. This can involve a significant learning curve for the programmer (see, for instance, Prolog or various functional languages...) but it can help programmers to achieve a new way of solving their problems: in this case, one that is rather well suited to the current needs of high-performance CPUs.

      The challenge with synchronization in Axum, presumably, is that it's possible to write code that will run in the engine that won't conform to the rules for an "actor" - that it will perform some non-thread-safe access to a file, or that it will otherwise do something that won't be safe when run in parallel. From that perspective it's no different from (almost) any other language - as you say, it's still possible to screw up. What it does provide, however, are guidelines and framework to help keep you from screwing up.

      • I agree with what you say. However, I think the big problem is going to be that Axum seems to be just another layer on top of .NET - and how much of that has been written for parallel processing? I'm guessing not a great deal, or even very carefully.

        • My understanding is that most functions in the .NET libraries are not reentrant.

          Seems to me, .NET was developed without much concurrency in mind.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            My understanding is that most functions in the .NET libraries are not reentrant.

            Most functions in the .NET libraries are perfectly reentrant in the classic definition, if you consider the implicit receiver argument ('this') a proper argument. Most non-static functions in .NET classes are not thread-safe in a sense that two threads cannot call the same function on the same object concurrently (or, more often, any two functions on the same object concurrently) - this is generally the same as what you can see in Java or C++. I don't see this as a problem, since it's unlikely that you'll w

        • by Tetsujin (103070)

          I agree with what you say. However, I think the big problem is going to be that Axum seems to be just another layer on top of .NET - and how much of that has been written for parallel processing? I'm guessing not a great deal, or even very carefully.

          I couldn't really say... Though I expect that it's entirely possible to write a module in .NET that would be thread-safe over multiple invocations, just as it'd be possible to do the same in C.

          The nice thing about Axum's relationship with .NET is that it (presumably) makes it rather easy to write your working code in a language you're comfortable with, and then write the parallelization logic in Axum. This, to me, is pretty important. If languages are specialized to different kinds of tasks, then you als

      • You're making the mistake that concurrency is the same thing as parallelism. It is not. Concurrency is when a program is written in such a way that the order of execution of tasks is highly underspecified; parallelism is the use of multiple execution units to execute concurrent code.

        Concurrency isn't just for performance; concurrency is just as much for writing software that can do many things at once. For example, one needs concurrency to have client applications that respond to the user with very low

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Bullshit. Concurrency CAN BE ABSTRACTED away from the programmer, just like the OS abstracts away the hardware.

      No CURRENT programming language can fix human error, but they can be designed to deal with it better.

      Just because you haven't seen a working implementation of the abstraction doesn't mean it can't be done. It can be done. Its just a question of when it will be done, and if its worth doing. Generally adding a bunch of layers of abstraction isn't something you want to do on a project that needs h

  • >> Axum does not have capabilities to define classes, but as it runs on the .NET platform, Axum can use classes made with C#.

    Why is it that Microsoft persist in vomiting up quick/crappy/hacky workarounds rather than solid solutions? and how is it that the people with the biggest blind-spot about technology and how bad Microsoft products are, are always in senior management of tech companies?

    • by mmkkbb (816035)

      It's not just Microsoft. The JVM has a host of 'guest' languages besides Java, some of which exist for .NET too: JRuby vs. IronRuby, Jython vs. IronPython, Kiev vs. P# (prolog), etc. etc.

    • by McNihil (612243)

      The whole idea of reusing good and working code is what from a business point of view is deemed evil. It is imperative to milk all customers of as much money as possible without actually delivering any form of permanent solution but barely what the customer needs (not what they are asking for.)

      This is not only endemic in Microsoft but any software house these days. What is worse is that this type of behaviour has now crept in the hardware realm as well. They all looked at how Microsoft et.al. do and how suc

  • Initial Failures (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kintin (840632) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:02PM (#27909171)
    Goddamn, PDFs for language specification and programmer's guide?  Thanks guys, I'll probably never need to search this stuff, or link to a specific section.  Also, what the hell do you call this bracket style:

    public Program()
    {
    // Receive command line arguments from port CommandLine
    String [] args = recieve(PrimaryChannel::CommandLine);
    // Send a message to port ExitCode;
    PrimaryChannel::ExitCode <-- 0; }

    I can't help but think that their idea of "Channels" is really a message queue, which listeners pull messages from.  This is easily implemented in around 30-40 lines of Python, Queues, Tasks and Listeners.  And since Python supports these crazy things called CLASSES, it's really quite easy to implement new features or override base functionality.

    In other words, this is an incredible waste of time.  Put all these kids to work on IronPython and close this crap down.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I suppose it was one of your ancestors that ridiculed the horseless carriage for not having a horse.
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      If your PDF reader can't do fast searches or bookmark specific sections, time to upgrade to one that doesn't utterly suck...

  • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:03PM (#27909221)

    previously known as Maestro and based on the actor model

    Somebody has their performance arts mixed up

  • Wanted:
    Senior Software Engineer
    Windows Platforms
    MFC C++ - 10 Years
    C# - 5 years
    Axum - 5 years

    You *know* it's going to happen.

    • by Sancho (17056) *

      Cue people saying, "It's cue, not queue."
      Then cue people defending it saying that you're putting the ad into a queue.

  • Seriously this looks an awful lot like Microsoft doing MPI. In which case they should just drive a railroad spike through both testicles, or ovaries.
  • Was C# Not Enough? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:18PM (#27909433)
    The thread control facilities available in the C# language are already quite extensive and include pretty much every known way to control concurrency presently used in software: mutexes, semaphores, locks, etc...they are all there. For example, the following paper (PDF link) [microsoft.com], written by Andrew Birrell of Microsoft Research, covers all the basics and explains the various options in C#. If they wanted more robust threading frameworks then why not simply add the relevant classes to the .NET Framework class library (i.e. in System.Threading)?
    • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:38PM (#27909765) Journal

      Its not a threading language, its a distributed concurrency language like erlang. So its designed to send messages locally or across a cluster, in a fast, safe,and easy manner. Yes, you could do everything in c# that it does, but not easily. Look over the documentation and you'll find some things that would be odd to you as a c# developer. Some sections that won't let you modify a variable's contents, to keep certain sections free of side affects.

      Basically its a different way of doing things that should help create easy,bug free, high performance, concurrent software.

      • Why do we need a whole separate language to do this? If additional abstractions are required or desirable then why can they not be added to the Framework class library or, if new language features are required (again, what is needed that isn't already in C#?), added to the C# language (as LINQ was for example) if necessary? It always seems to me that new languages attempt to solve a "problem" that could be better solved by adding to or improving an existing programming language rather than inventing a new o
    • by Orii (55092)
      Sometimes you can make things much easier in a new language. Clojure uses STM for concurrency control, which is much easier due to Clojure's strong preference for immutable data. You'd have a lot more pain using STM in a language not designed for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's not about threading - all the features you describe relate to dealing with concurrency in a small scale. New concurrent languages are targeted at algorithms that use concurrency as a fundamental building block - a language construct, if you like - which let you use completely different algorithms to what you would use otherwise.

      Totally contrived example: imagine you want to count the number of upper case characters in a large string. You could zip through it in a loop in a single thread. But t

  • thankfully

    Axum does not have capabilities to define classes

    I don't have to make up reasons to not use this (which I usually would have to, because I hate Microsoft...)

    what is it about object-orientation that microsoft doesn't get? read MSDN sourcecodes - it's like a trip to 1960...

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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