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Tag Archives: dedalus

We were happy to find out this week that our BOOM project and and Bloom langauge have been selected by Technology Review magazine as one of the TR10, their “annual list of the emerging technologies that will have the biggest impact on our world.” This was news to us — we knew they were going to run an article, but weren’t aware of the TR10 distinction. Pretty neat.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions since the article launched about the project and language. So while folks are paying attention, here’s a quick FAQ to answer what the project is all about and its status.

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It’s been about 6 years now that we’ve been working on declarative programming for distributed systems — starting with routing protocols, then network overlays, query optimizers, sensor network stacks, and more recently scalable analytics and consensus protocols.

Through that time, we’ve struggled to find a useful middle ground between the pure logic roots of classical declarative languages like Datalog, and the practical needs of real systems managing state across networks. Our compromises over the years allowed us to move forward, build real things, and learn many lessons. But they also led to some semantic confusion — as noted in papers by colleagues at Max Planck and AT&T.

Well, no more. We recently released a tech report on Dedalus, a formal logic language that can serve as a clean foundation for declarative programming going forward.  The Dedalus work is fairly theoretical, but having tackled it we’re in a strong position to define an approachable and appealing language that will let programmers get their work done in distributed environments. That’s the goal of our Bloom language.

The key insight in Dedalus is roughly this:

Time is essential; space is a detail.

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It’s official: the name of the programming language for the BOOM project is:  Lincoln Bloom.

I didn’t intend to post about Bloom until it was cooked, but two things happened this week that changed my plans.  The first was the completion of a tech report on Dedalus, our new logic language that forms the foundation of Bloom.  The second was more of a surprise: Technology Review decided to run an article on our work, and Bloom was the natural way to talk about it.

More soon on our initial Dedalus results.