Are Tuplespaces That Much Better?

I remember reading about Linda (and thus tuplespaces) back in the day and loving it. It seemed really cool, elegant, simple and likely effective way of doing distributed programming. It is really easy to add to existing programming languages. And it essentially never took off. Greg Wilson thinks this is a big loss:

It’s easy, easy, easy for beginners to understand—much easier than MPI. And compile-time analysis of tuple in/out patterns can make it run efficiently in most cases; adhering to some simple patterns can help too. But for a whole bunch of reasons, it never really took off: not as a language extension to C, not as JavaSpaces, not in various homebrew implementations for agile languages like Python, and that makes me sad. It’s as if the metric system had failed, and we had to do physics with foot-acres and what-not. But I guess that’s the world we live in…

Is it really that dramatic? How would we tell? What’s the analysis like?

The thing about tuplespaces is that it is straightforward to add them to just about any system. So….why don’t people who know about them just use them?

This just might be a good MSc project!

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