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Reactive Streams
Been meaning to talk about this for a couple of weeks now, so at least a quick note:

The serious software-architecture geeks should take a look at the new Reactive Streams manifesto. This is a project to tackle an enormously common modern architecture problem: when you have streams of data passing asynchronously as messages from layer to layer, getting transformed along the way. There are some very common issues with this sort of architecture: in particular, dealing with situations where the back end begins to get overloaded, and it becomes crucial to apply "back pressure" so that the higher levels slow down, lest you overload the buffers.

The new Reactive Streams Specification is an approach to this problem: a common JVM API that each layer can implement in order to reactively apply back-pressure up the chain as necessary. AFAIK the project has been spearheaded by Typesafe (specifically the Akka team), but there have been a bunch of companies involved -- Twitter, Red Hat, Netflix, etc.

Roland Kuhn, the lead of the Akka project, will be giving a webinar on the subject next week. I plan to attend -- it seems likely to be quite educational. I commend it to other architects...


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