Developing concurrent programs with Pony

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© Lead Image © Aleksandr Frolov, 123RF

© Lead Image © Aleksandr Frolov, 123RF

Article from Issue 205/2017
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Pony, an object-oriented programming language with static typecasting, trots down well-mapped paths to deliver secure, high-performance code for concurrent applications.

The still young Pony [1] programming language uses the actor model [2] and capabilities [3] to make deadlocks and data races things of the past. In this article, I take Pony for a test ride with an example application that, once it has compiled successfully, logs the consumption of paint and reports the results in a single line.

Figure 1 revisits the problems of concurrent programming in C and C++. To improve performance, the hypothetical program outsources tasks to concurrent threads that access the shared memory area. Locks manage access to prevent different threads editing data simultaneously, falsifying each other's results in the process, and generating race conditions. Nothing good results when programming errors interact and create deadlocks.

Table 1 summarizes the problems associated with implementation across various languages. The comparison with Java is inevitable, because the language offers one of the most successful enhancements of the C and C++ method. A comparison with Rust [4] is also appropriate, because the new kid in town also tries to generate secure and fast code for concurrent applications.

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