Microsoft is developing a new language for parallel programming called Axum. Previously known as Maestro, Axum is an incubation project intended to help programmers handle parallel programming in the .NET environment. Microsoft has not committed to shipping Axum, but the language was recently demonstrated at the Lang.Net 2009 conference.
Microsoft's Joshua Phillips says the Axum project aims to validate a safe and productive parallel programming model for the .NET framework. Axum builds on the architecture of the Web and the principles of isolation, agents, and message passing to increase application safety, responsiveness, scalability, and developer productivity, Phillips says. "Other advanced concepts we are exploring are data flow networks, asynchronous methods, and type annotations for taming side-effects," he says. "We currently have a working prototype with basic Visual Studio integration and a few demonstrations of working code."
Phillips says Axum helps reduce complexity by eliminating implicit dependencies, providing a declarative model for dealing with state, and providing an application model that is inherently concurrent and responsive. He says Axum is actor-oriented and object-aware. "We're not talking about objects as a primary concept anymore; it's object-aware rather than object-oriented," Phillips says. "It's special-purpose, so we don't intend for Axum to be the general-purpose language that C# is."
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