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Lightbend Introduces Rëtrö, A Synchronous, Blocking, JVM Framework For Building Mega-Monoliths One Chunk At A Time

In a surprising shift from Reactive, Lightbend has announced the upcoming availability of Rëtrö, a new framework for making monoliths as powerful and easy to manage as they once were. Designed from the ground up for building synchronous, blocking applications more casually than ever before, Rëtrö aims to bring back the glory days of software development.

With everything in Lightbend designed to be fully asynchronous, nonblocking, self-healing and elastically scalable, you might think we were serious about the whole Reactive thing. In fact, Reactive was just the classic bait and switch move to distract our competitors.

-Mark Brewer, CEO of Lightbend

Designed for enterprises looking to change little-to-nothing and stay with their trusted monolithic application stack as long as possible, Rëtrö offers the following disadvantages to your team:

Synchronous, Blocking and Single-Threaded

Trying to make concurrency, parallelism, and multi-threaded applications work is a huge pain. Why bother reading and learning—when you can use Google and StackOverflow? With Rëtrö, you can just copy-paste whatever code snippets are closest at hand, ensuring that your application will be at best mediocre, without having to change anything about the way you build and deploy.

Now that our competitors have begun to embrace the “perceived” power of the message-driven, Reactive approach, we are in a better position to eat their monolith cake by focusing on organizations that don’t feel like changing anything about their systems and plan to stay with the traditional monolithic architecture over the coming decades.

-Mark Brewer, CEO of Lightbend

Developers Get More Personal Time With A 10 Minute App Server Restart

Why rush in development, right? Unlike the instantly visible, hot-reload features native to Play and Lagom, Rëtrö brings the joy of slow development back to your teams with a mandatory restart time of 10 minutes. Using Rëtrö’s proprietary, closed-source application server, your development teams can relax while they code, freshen up their office-chair swordfighting skills, and get more time to casually distract other team members.

Scalable On A Single Mainframe To Guarantee Business Hours Availability

Scaling on multiple cores, JVMs, nodes, clusters and data centers can be difficult and in reality does very little for the developer peace of mind. Whereas Akka, Lagom and Play efficiently and elastically scale in and out across all your infrastructure and hardware resources, Rëtrö has been designed to scale only on a single mainframe at a time within a 24 hour window. This helps you better maintain extreme exclusivity for only a handful of your most passionate, patient and forgiving users. Furthermore, Rëtrö supports planned downtime of at least 6h per day—fully compliant with your website’s with business hours—and is guaranteed to make unplanned downtime part of your day again.

Type-Safety Removed For Production Deployments

By removing the intrinsic type-safety found in languages like Scala and Java, Rëtrö is now on a level playing field with well-known and beloved industry standards like Javascript, Node.js and XML. In the words of Rëtrö contributor, Adriään Möörs:

It took some time to remove type-safety from Rëtrö, but at last we’re satisfied that users will have no chance of seeing what’s going on until you hit production. I feel like I need to have a really long shower.

An Interesting Array Of Supported Technologies:

  • Java 1.4 and, preferably, earlier
  • SGML
  • Oracle OC4J Application Server
  • Lotus Notes
  • Microsoft Zune mp3 player
  • Visual Basic for Applications at the scripting layer
  • NEO-GEO (1989 and earlier)
  • VMS
  • Two-phase commit



The Total Economic Impact™
Of Lightbend Akka

  • 139% ROI
  • 50% to 75% faster time-to-market
  • 20x increase in developer throughput
  • <6 months Akka pays for itself