Safe bet this one will be good

Typesafe release Akka 2.0 – a modernised middleware framework

Chris Mayer
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Learning from experiences of the first version, the concurrent event-driven framework for the JVM is back, with its sequel promising bigger things.

After a radically successful period with their first version of
their modern framework Akka,
Typesafe have announced the general availability of the successor –
Akka
2.0
, promising ‘a revolutionary step in programming for
concurrency, fault-tolerance and scalability.’

Big claims. After all, the Akka 1.0 series was
phenomenally popular for its reliability at scale and
the ease of creating lightweight concurrent actors.
Akka, for those unaware, is a
 modern event-driven
middleware framework, for building high performance and reliable
distributed applications in Java and Scala.

Typesafe CTO and co-founder, Jonas Bonér
announced the
release on their blog
stating that ‘Akka 2.0 represents a major
update to the Akka 1.x series of releases.’ The stats certainly
back up that claim: 700 tickets closed, 1,020 files changed
and over 300 pages of reference documentation show
the mammoth task undertaken by the team and the wider group of
committers. Rest assured, this isn’t just a minor update, it’s
progressing Akka much further. Bonér adds:

While many of the key concepts in 2.0 will be
familiar to Akka 1.x developers, there are quite a few changes
under the hood. So we’ve provided a
migration kit
to ease the transition.

The highlight reel is pretty extensive, but as previously talked
about in milestone
releases
, the changes to actors have been plentiful. Modularity
has been tackled head-on, as in Akka 2.0, all global
shared state has been removed so that multiple actor systems can
co-exist. An Akka application is now contained within
an 
ActorSystem class.

The Actor System effectively becomes a set of flexible
building blocks and can be used as standalone containers
that allow users to manage the behaviour, structure, life-cycle and
configuration of actors. Within the Actor System, you can now
instigate supervision and monitoring (entitled the
bone-chilling Death Watch). This means you can delegate
tasks to subordinates with the supervisor (while still keeping an
eye on their failures) and use monitoring to tie one actor to
another, so it reacts to its counterpart’s termination. What you
could do with actors in the previous version was fairly limited, so
the boundaries have been pushed.

Both Java and Scala APIs are maintained (meaning you don’t
need to touch Scala if you don’t want to) and the addition of
a new Event Bus feature should allow for a greater sense
of control when sending messages to actors. There’s of
course the aforementioned improvement in performance and
scalability as well.

The timing of Akka 2.0 appears to be ahead of
Typesafe’s even bigger announcement of Typesafe Stack 2.0 within
the coming days, which will tie all of the latest products together
for commercial support. Other projects in the works
include 
Akka Camel 2.0 (dubbed
“Alpakka”), Akka AMQP 2.0 and Akka Spring 2.0,

For more information, check out the freshly renovated Akka
site, where you can also download the stable release. When
you’ve got this much to shout about, a lick of paint certainly goes
a long way. We’re excited to see what else Typesafe currently have
cooking up…

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