Are We There Yet?

JVM Language Summit 2009 talk by Rich Hickey

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7 Replies - 2172 Views - Last Post: 02 January 2010 - 11:49 PM

#1 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Are We There Yet?

Post icon  Posted 29 December 2009 - 02:19 PM

http://www.infoq.com...Yet-Rich-Hickey

In his keynote at JVM Languages Summit 2009, Rich Hickey advocated for the reexamination of basic principles like state, identity, value, time, types, genericity, complexity, as they are used by OOP today, to be able to create the new constructs and languages to deal with the massive parallelism and concurrency of the future.

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#2 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 29 December 2009 - 02:37 PM

Excellent topic Raynes, I think this should be featured and should develop some great conversation.
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#3 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 29 December 2009 - 02:53 PM

View PostPsychoCoder, on 29 Dec, 2009 - 01:37 PM, said:

Excellent topic Raynes, I think this should be featured and should develop some great conversation.


Awesome! My first featured topic.
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#4 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:17 PM

Good talk.

With parallel processing becoming ubiquitous (Can you even buy a single-core machine anymore?) there has been some work in this area of concurrency. Some languages are using finer-grained concurrency techniques like the Actor pattern or fork-join (i.e. divide and conquer). Even better, some languages have put more emphasis on immutability by providing language support for it. None of this stuff is new. In fact, it's decades old, but we're just getting to the point where it's relevant to the average developer. As Herb Sutter said, a few years ago "the free lunch is over" and we have to start dealing with concurrency. Anyone who has had to write any, non-trivial, concurrent code knows that the paradigms we currently have in OO are not awesome.

What I like about his talk is that he admits that pure functional programming is not the answer. He realizes that we need a paradigm that allows us to easily model problems of all kinds (recursive or otherwise) while removing the need to think too much about concurrency. We're definitely not there yet. I think Scala is a good example of an OO-Functioal hybrid that is starting to bridge the gap. Anyway, he opened a huge can of worms. This would be a great area in which to base a dissertation.
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#5 GenHornet18  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:50 AM

Amazing presentation, he really did give 'food for thought'.

1.) @Programmist, Single core processors are getting to be harder to find but they still exist. There also a breed of programmers (myself included) which pride ourselves in accomplishing seemingly complex tasks on a machine with less adequate hardware. It's a challenge and one I fully accept and enjoy.

2.) Parallel programming structures and even multi-threading haven't seen there true potential yet, we're getting closer but we're not there yet. Some say a quad-core computer for example, is running at half of it's peek performance most of the time because the software simply doesn't ask/require more. We need to amp it up and update our practices as in terms of programming we're still in the Fortran age. There's projects which I'm monitoring that show true potential in this field and I hope they come through to show a new age of programming.

So, to my fellow programmers; To the future!
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#6 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:05 AM

View PostProgrammist, on 29 Dec, 2009 - 09:17 PM, said:

Good talk.

With parallel processing becoming ubiquitous (Can you even buy a single-core machine anymore?) there has been some work in this area of concurrency. Some languages are using finer-grained concurrency techniques like the Actor pattern or fork-join (i.e. divide and conquer). Even better, some languages have put more emphasis on immutability by providing language support for it. None of this stuff is new. In fact, it's decades old, but we're just getting to the point where it's relevant to the average developer. As Herb Sutter said, a few years ago "the free lunch is over" and we have to start dealing with concurrency. Anyone who has had to write any, non-trivial, concurrent code knows that the paradigms we currently have in OO are not awesome.

What I like about his talk is that he admits that pure functional programming is not the answer. He realizes that we need a paradigm that allows us to easily model problems of all kinds (recursive or otherwise) while removing the need to think too much about concurrency. We're definitely not there yet. I think Scala is a good example of an OO-Functioal hybrid that is starting to bridge the gap. Anyway, he opened a huge can of worms. This would be a great area in which to base a dissertation.


Rich has never been a really big fan of purely functional programming, which is why Clojure allows you to program in a purely functional style and gives you tools to do so, but doesn't promise you that your code is purely functional, and doesn't force you to make the code purely functional.
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#7 KeyboardKowboy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:48 PM

Very interesting topic. I thought he gave a great speech. I was glad to hear that he doesn't discredit OO Design, but would like to tweak the OO Model. I do agree whole heartedly that as we continue to follow the ideas of concurrency, we need to be able to model our systems to do so. We currently try to build single event dispatched software that can properly handle large concurrency, without having a solid understanding of time. His statements about mutability were also pretty interesting.
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#8 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are We There Yet?

Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:49 PM

Check out his rationale for not making Clojure Object Oriented. It's pretty interesting. Rich is a very good speaker.
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