Eleanor McHugh wrote:
> On 19 Apr 2007, at 04:51, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
>> Eleanor McHugh wrote:
>>> I'm not sure that Erlang is the right place to be looking for good 
>>> Ruby concurrency models, given the fundamental differences between 
>>> the two languages. What I think would be interesting though is if 
>>> some of the CSP and Pi-Calculus inspired stuff that's being worked 
>>> on by the KRoC team (http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/projects/ofa/kroc/) 
>>> make it into the Ruby world.
>> Uh ... I'll go check it out, but don't get me started on Pi-Calculus 
>> vs. Petri Nets in the Business Process Modeling arena. :) Suffice it 
>> to say I've been studying Petri nets for something like 20 years now 
>> and I find Pi-Calculus and CSP (and related process algebra 
>> notations) dang near impossible to read as a result.
>
> Well I can't say I like the maths notations much - reminds me too much 
> of studying control theory back in the 80s and wondering why my 
> lecturer was so excited about what amounts to little more than 
> plumbing diagrams. It's so ironic that I ended up working in embedded 
> control systems...
>
> I think possibly I'm more attracted to the Occam-pi language 
> structures as I can sense ways in which they can be implemented using 
> Ruby's threads or dRb/Rinda and multiple processes.
I took a cruise by the web site and I must say it was interesting but I 
have a very bad taste in my mouth from Occam. I used to work for a 
company called Floating Point Systems. A bunch of very bright folks bet 
a big chunk of the company on the Transputer and Occam. It was a classic 
case of a beautiful theory being murdered by a gang of brutal facts. 
There were less than a handful of Occam programmers in the world. Our 
marketplace consisted of FORTRAN, C, and to a certain extent Pascal 
programmers.

To be blunt, Erlang is a production-ready, commercially supported 
industrial strength programming environment -- no, let me make that 
stronger -- *software engineering environment* with a lot of momentum 
and a strong open-source community. Occam, CSP, the Pi-Calculus and 
Pi-Occam aren't. Aside from the obvious entrenched position of the 
Pi-Calculus in business process modeling, I don't see much other than 
another beautiful theory walking alone on a dark and stormy night in a 
very bad neighborhood. :)

For a more positive spin on the subject, for those interested in the 
"obvious entrenched position" I mentioned above, see _Essential Business 
Process Modeling_ by Michael Harvey. Anybody who implements business 
applications, in Ruby or otherwise, should have a firm grasp of the 
contents thereof.

-- 
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, FBG, AB, PTA, PGS, MS, MNLP, NST, ACMC(P)
http://borasky-research.net/

If God had meant for carrots to be eaten cooked, He would have given rabbits fire.