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Scala World keynote abstract - An introduction to the Unison language and its Scala-based runtime

Jon Pretty invited me a while back to give a keynote talk at Scala World this year, and the event is just a couple weeks away! I thought I’d give a talk about the work Arya Irani and I have done on the new Unison runtime which we are implementing in Scala. Here’s an abstract of the talk:

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Work on fast new Unison runtime

I’d like to get a first release of Unison out by end of 2017 or sooner. The release won’t be a toy or proof-of-concept; provided you don’t mind being on the bleeding edge of a new language, this first release should be usable for real work. The big things missing before that can happen are:

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A search engine in 15 LOC, actually running now!

At Full Stack Fest, I gave a talk on how to use Unison’s distributed programming API to write a simple search engine that runs on multiple nodes:

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Do we still need microservices in Unison?

If you look through the search engine code, you might notice it’s organized differently than the typical microservice-based backend. We have functions we’ve written, and we have nodes, but we don’t have (micro)services per se. There’s actually a shift in perspective here that I think is important, and it’s somewhat subtle.

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The Unison codebase editing experience using plain-text tools

There are huge benefits to modeling the codebase as an immutable data structure, rather than a bag of text files that’s mutated in place. This post talks about these benefits while walking through a design for how such a codebase can be edited using ordinary tools—your favorite text editor, Git, and a simple command line tool that I’ll introduce here. The approach described is simple, easily implementable, and will let us test out the ‘user experience’ of Unison’s immutable codebase and refactoring story. Though I’ll be showing how things work with a hypothetical command-line tool, it should be pretty clear how the same workflow could be quite nicely exposed in a richer semantic editor.

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