Saturday, January 14, 2012

STIC Conference Teasers: Big POOP

The Smalltalk Industry Conference list of talks is now up. One of the featured keynotes is Sam Adams,
with a talk entitled "Massive Parallelism + Object Oriented Programming = Big POOP". When he talks about massive parallelism, he's talking far beyond what we get today and questioning some of our fundamental assumptions. This is the same work that David Ungar talked about at the Splash conference last fall, which had some nice lines about how we can get much more parallelism if we're not so hung up on getting the right answer...

Here's Sam's abstract:

Object orientation has been very good to programmers. So has Moore’s Law, at least until we recently hit the single thread performance wall. We are now solidly in the age of parallelism, be it multcore, manycore, or massively parallel distributed systems. Both industry and academia have been wrestling with the complexities of this new reality for some years now, and yet no clear-cut solution has emerged to deliver both high performance parallel processing with high programmer productivity for mere mortals.

Since 2008 at IBM Research, David Ungar and I have been using Smalltalk along with a new manycore parallel virtual machine to explore new programming models in this space. In this talk I will share the history of this work, lessons learned, and where we think the future lies for massively parallel object oriented programming in Smalltalk.