Roland Kuhn, Akka Team Lead at Typesafe, Inc. took his fastest jetpack across half of Germany to receive the award.
Last night at the JAX conference in Mainz, Germany, three awards were given to the most innovative forces of good working on the JVM today. In an article on JAXenter, we read that Akka received the most votes for Most Innovative Open Technology, while Java 8 was voted, somewhat circularly, for being the Most Innovative Java Technology. JAX also has a Special Jury award, for which Netflix OSS was recognized for their technological and cultural contributions to the JVM industry–and maybe to thank them for House of Cards.
For those of you unfamiliar with Akka, which is a toolkit for building distributed applications in Java or Scala, we'll let Roland Kuhn, Akka Team Lead, describe what kinds of problems Akka is designed to solve:
Akka is a collection of tools that helps you write concurrent and distributed applications. The central piece is its implementation of the Actor Model, invented by Carl Hewitt in 1973, where Actors are independent agents of computation that only communicate with each other by sending messages. This model is perfectly suited to express that different parts of an application may use separate CPUs or run on different nodes, and it also includes the notion of failure encapsulation and supervision in order to deal with unforeseen events.
In a second article related to the awards, Jonas Bonér, creator of Akka and CTO at Typesafe, Inc., told JAXenter that "Open source makes all of this possible", referring to how incredibly important it has been to have a vibrant and active OSS community behind the history of Akka. Considering the impact on the market of OSS tools like Apache Spark, Cassandra and Mesos, it's clear that some of the best technologies available on the market have emerged powerful from the open source development process.
Akka is both addressing real pain points in today's systems, and is pushing the envelope and innovation in the industry," said Bonér. "Akka makes you feel empowered by making things that used to be very hard quite easy and straightforward, allowing you to do things that you didn't dare do before -- and something that I hear a lot is that it 'makes programming fun again.'
Interestingly, engineers from the enterprises behind all three award winners–Typesafe, Oracle and Netflix–are active committers to the Reactive Streams initiatve, which aims to provide "a standard for asynchronous stream processing with non-blocking back pressure". This mainly looks to solve the issue of keeping resource consumption in asynchronous systems under control when dealing with a fire hose of "live" data whose volume is not predetermined. So is this just some freak coincidence that the people behind the winning innovative technologies are all investing time and energy into making Reactive Streams a reality?
Probably not. Considering that Red Hat, Pivotal and others are also actively pushing towards more Reactive software in enterprises, it's pretty clear that distributed, microservice-based systems are no longer just for early adopters. With community stories and case studies proving over again why the most successful enterprises are "Going Reactive", it's now time to get prepared for this new wave of distributed, resilient, elastic applications to enter mainstream of software craft.
As Marc Andreessen famously put it: "Software is eating the world." So, how is your business reacting?