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Best Actor Award

I recently watched (Trifork CTO and Erjang developer) Kresten Krab Thorup give this terrific talk: “Erlang, The Road Movie“.  In his presentation, Kresten suggested that the 20+ year reign of the “objectsprogramming paradigm is sloooowly yielding to the next big problem-solving paradigm: autonomous “actors“. Using Thomas Kuhn‘s well known paradigm-change framework, he presented this slide (which was slightly augmented by BD00):

Kresten opined that the internet catapulted Java to the top of the server-side programming world in the 90s. However, the new problems posed by multi-core, cloud computing, and the increasing need for scalability and fault-tolerance will displace OOP/Java with actor-based languages like Erlang. Erlang has the upper-hand because it’s been evolved and battle-tested for over 20 years. It’s patiently waiting in the wings.

The slide below implies that the methods of OOP-based languages designed to handle post-2000 concurrency and scalability problems are rickety graft-ons; whereas the features and behaviors required to wrestle them into submission are seamlessly baked-in to Erlang’s core and/or its OTP library.

So, what do you think? Is Mr. Thorup’s vision for the future direction of programming correct? Is the paradigm shift underway? If not, what will displace the “object” mindset in the future. Surely, something will, no?

Too much of my Java programs are boilerplate code. – Kresten Krab Thorup

Too much of my C++ code is boilerplate code. – Bulldozer00

Java either steps up, or something else will. – Cameron Purdy

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