Jul 22, 2018 - Isolating application sub-components with membranes


Membranes are a defensive programming pattern used to intermediate between sub-components of an application. The pattern is applicable in any memory-safe programming language, and I explain elsewhere on this blog how they work in JavaScript.

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Oct 27, 2017 - DLS 2017 Most Notable Paper Award for 2007


Each year the Dynamic Languages Symposium awards the DLS Most Notable Paper award to a paper published 10 years earlier in the symposium proceedings.

This year, our 2007 paper “Mirages: Behavioral Intercession in a Mirror-based Architecture” (link to paper) won the Most Notable Paper award.

The paper explored a new mechanism to virtualize objects in object-oriented programming languages (in particular, in the AmbientTalk programming language which I co-developed with my co-author Stijn Mostinckx as part of my PhD work). This work laid the foundation for my later work on the JavaScript Proxy API together with Mark S. Miller, which was standardized as part of ECMAScript 2015 and is now available in all major browsers.

The award citation reads:

The 2007 DLS paper “Mirages: Behavioral Intercession in a Mirror-based Architecture” combined the ideas of explicit mirrors for reflective introspection and modification with implicit mirrors for behavioral intercession. The work in this paper influenced and inspired the design of proxies in the JavaScript language, where it now has applications in areas such as security, testing, and virtualization of the DOM.

I’m honored to have received this award from the DLS community, which is one of the premier forums to discuss advances in dynamic languages.

Jun 26, 2017 - DEBS 2017 Best Demo Award


Our demonstrator “Building Connected Car Applications on top of the World-Wide Streams Platform” received the Best Demo Award at DEBS 2017, the ACM conference on distributed and event-based systems.

The demo showcases the capabilities of World-wide Streams, a wide-area distributed stream processing platform that I helped build at Nokia Bell Labs. The demo is a fleet management application for connected cars, processing the telemetry data and dashcam video streams emitted by cars in real-time.

WWS Demo

An extended abstract of the demo is available from the ACM digital library.

Dec 16, 2016 - 43 years of actors: a taxonomy of actor models


As part of his PhD thesis, my former PhD student Joeri De Koster has been deeply involved in actor languages and systems. Recently Joeri took the effort of transforming one of the chapters of his PhD thesis into a stand-alone paper that surveys different eminent actor systems and places them into a coherent taxonomy. He presented this work last month at the AGERE workshop at SPLASH, and to my surprise it actually got picked up by others quicky, for instance, by Tony Garnock-Jones, who wrote an excellent blog post on the history of actors, and by Phil Wadler in a recent paper.

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Nov 14, 2016 - Serving on OOPSLA 2017 PC


I was invited to serve on the OOPSLA 2017 PC. OOPSLA seeks outstanding contributions on all aspects of programming languages and software engineering. The deadline for this year’s research papers is April 17th, 2017.