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Saturday, April 05, 2003

REST and Linda

Does HTTP make a good coordination language?

So the next question is, how do the Linda coordination language and the HTTP coordination compare?

Linda has 'out', 'in', and 'rd'.

  • Out - put something in your process out into the shared space.
  • In - bring something from the shared space into your process (it is no longer in the shared space).
  • Rd - copy something from the shared space into your process (the original remains in the shared space).

HTTP has Get, which is kind of like Rd. Except a Linda system is guaranteed to implement the simple definitions of Rd. A web server can implement anything at all for 'get', i.e. there can be untold side effects.

None of the other HTTP commands are specified to act like the remaining Linda commands. And every one can have untold side effects.

My quick assessment tells me that HTTP is not nearly as simple as Linda for the purposes of coordination. But a web server could choose to interpret some of the HTTP commands to behave more like the Linda commands.

My experience as a developer tells me Linda's commands make good coordination 'combinators', i.e. they can be combined into many variations of desirable sequences for coordinating multiple processes.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.