[gambit-list] Re: Bill Clementson's Blog: Concurrent/Parallel Programming - The Next Generation - Part 2

Marc Feeley feeley at iro.umontreal.ca
Thu Jan 12 17:21:02 EST 2006

On 12-Jan-06, at 4:32 PM, Bradley Lucier wrote:

> Bill Clementson talks about concurrent "functional" programming in  
> his blog, and laments the lack of public progress on Termite:
> http://bc.tech.coop/blog/060111.html

Since the Termite paper was presented at the European Scheme and Lisp  
workshop a few things have happened:

1) The mailbox mechanism has been integrated into Gambit's thread  
model, which improves the performance of messaging in Termite, and  
allows "message-passing" programming (between local threads) in the  
standard Gambit system.  Serialization and deserialization has also  
been improved.

2) A "Distributed Computing" example was added to the examples in the  
distribution.  It shows how to implement a distributed computing  
library in about 700 lines of Scheme code (including process  
migration, location transparency, and serialization of I/O ports).

3) Guillaume Germain will soon be done with his thesis, and has  
written several interesting Termite examples.  Stay tuned.

The most difficult aspect of this distributed programming language  
research is that there are so many abstraction levels to choose  
from.  Should Termite be a minimal language on which others can build  
their own distributed computing system, or should it provide a large  
set of predefined features (such as process migration, location  
transparency, etc)?  In the spirit of Scheme, Termite aims to be a  
small maleable distributed programming language.  We're hoping that  
it will be the basis for other more specific distributed programming  
languages developed here or elsewhere.


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