TechCast #47 – Jonas Boner on the Akka framework, Scala, and highly scalable applications

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Today’s podcast features Jonas Bonér, the creator of the Akka framework.  If you’ve been listening to the podcast, especially to Episode #37 with Alex Miller on Java Concurrency, here is an alternative approach to providing scalability on the Java VM.

Akka features an implementation of Actors, Software Transactional Memory, and Transactors, a hybrid approach to working with STM inside of Actors themselves.  Jonas also provides a mechanism for writing these components inside of the Java language as well.

Actors are not a direct part of the Scala language. Rather, they are implemented as a library.  There are, in fact, at least three implementations.  Jonas Bonér’s Akka framework includes actors as well as access to Software Transactional Memory.  In this episode, my colleague Jamie Allen and I interview Jonas to try to pull apart what Actors and Software Transactional Memory are, and how they can help developers write highly scalable, concurrent applications.

Links:

  1. The Akka Mountain in Sweden (Akka is named after the mountain)
  2. The Akka framework homepage is www.akkasource.org (or www.akkasource.com or even www.letitcrash.com)
  3. A good blog entry about Akka 
  4. The high level overview of Akka from the akkasource site
  5. Jonas’ home page and the Akka twitter handle