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Functional programming has been influencing mainstream languages for decades, making developers more efficient whilst helping them reduce maintenance costs. As we are faced with a programming model that needs to scale on multi-core architectures and distributed environments, concurrency becomes critical. In these concurrency models, immutability, a key feature of functional programming paradigm, will become even more evident. To quote Simon Peyton Jones, future concurrent languages will be functional; they might not be called functional, but the features will be. In this talk, we explain why!
Question: Has Akka within the JVM realm got every essential Concurrency traits from Erlang. Have there been any mass migrations in enterprise world to Erlang in the recent past?
Answer: No, the enterprise world is historically very slow at responding to these challenges. At the same time, they are also solving a different problem which might not require scalability and reliability. The adoption of Scala and AKKA has shown there is a need for immutability. But with multi-core architectures just beginning to make their mark, they are trying to address it through containerization (which is a form of immutability in itself). Personally, I think Paravirtualization, where we remove any abstraction layers and run the VM as close to the hardware as possible is the future, with orchestrators starting and stopping them automatically.
And to quote Simon Peyton Jones, future concurrent languages will be functional. They might not be called functional, but they will display those features. This was at his Erlang Factory London keynote, also in 2009!
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Francesco Cesarini is the founder of Erlang Solutions Ltd.