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Until recently, users seeking a way of doing Scalable I/O had two choices: NIO, which provides an esoteric interface requiring serious expertise and concurrency control, or Netty - which provides a rich and powerful layer above NIO. The downsides to Netty however include an extremely idiomatic Java API, and a series of separated threads and thread pools left out of the control of the user.
There is, however, hope for the Scala user who abhors free range threading and wants a more Scala-sane interface to a network. Working with the Spray has recently introduced a new, lightweight Non-blockimg network I/O interface built around Akka's core Actors.
Further insights will include a demonstration of Akka I/O's built in system for Backpressure — allowing true handling & awareness of an overloaded network buffer, and compositing of Futures on top of the Actor API to emulate a more functional interface.
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Brendan is a Senior Consultant & Trainer at BoldRadius, where he works directly with clients to help them find success through consulting and training on the Typesafe Reactive Platform.