yet another actor implementation


shared objects

User code built as a shared object. The runtime needs to read this shared object and run some bits on it.

The Go stdlib has a plugin package that does some dlopen bits and runs a package’s init() function. It doesn’t support unloading, but I think that modifying this package to add unloading could definitely work. Using an init-based model might mean we can do more with standard Go in the runtime.


All structs in user-code need to automatically be backed by something like proto’s for easy serialization.

more things

we ought to have:

  • automatic serialization support for all sendable/receivable messages
  • elimination of concurrency primitives outside of actors
  • plugin hot-reloading
  • automatic clustering
  • automatic actor ditribution across the cluster
  • seamless actor upgrades (on plugin update)
  • no “main” function, only actors
  • “plugins” should be isolated to individual actors and hot-reloading should be a per-actor thing
  • updates to plugins should propegate across the cluster


build phases

(not in order)

  1. AST parsing
  2. proto generation for sendable messages (maybe don’t need this for all structs)
  3. interface generation
  • maybe some type of self-regitration system
  • maybe a generic handler that needs to be exported via C FFI
  • essentially this needs to offer a place to wire into the runtime and provide some way to query meta-data about actors

build system

It may be interesting to not only have a build system that uses bazel, but to actually use bazel to build an incremental compiler. All of the caching that bazel does has the potential to make for a really fast compiler runtime. :thinkies:

target language / runtime


it has a great library and becomes pretty useful right out of the gate. I just need to expose/wrap a bunch of stuff, which I think should be pretty minimal. re-use as much as I can while avoiding or abstracting over the stuff I don’t want (channels, goroutines, etc).

Can transpile yaai over to Go by mimic’ing most of the syntax, which should make life a bit easier.

Don’t need to support things like generics. The 1.x backwards compatibility should make code-gen rather stable.

ABI stability might be a problem. Probably gonna have to rely on C-Go style things to make interop easier. Since we’re not allowing any sort of concurrency in yaai, I think that’s probably not a big concern. So ABI could not be a problem.

c / c++

the library support is crap, and so I’d have to spend a lot of time implementing things for it to be useful. Or I’d have to settle for dumb examples doing very little. sounds boring.

the ABI bits would be super stable, and so shared-object loading would be really stable.

Since I wouldn’t simply be transpiling, I’d have to care more about actual compiler things. I don’t want to really think about this.


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