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tonyg / syndicate


syn·di·cate: a language for interactive programs


Syndicate: A Networked, Concurrent, Functional Programming Language

Syndicate is an actor-based concurrent language able to express communication, enforce isolation, and manage resources. Network-inspired extensions to a functional core represent imperative actions as values, giving side-effects locality and enabling composition of communicating processes.

Collaborating actors are grouped within task-specific networks (a.k.a. virtual machines) to scope their interactions. Conversations between actors are multi-party (using a publish/subscribe medium), and actors can easily participate in many such conversations at once.

Syndicate makes presence notifications an integral part of pub/sub through its shared dataspaces, akin to tuplespaces. Each shared dataspace doubles as the pub/sub subscription table for its network. Actors react to state change notifications reporting changes in a dataspace, including new subscriptions created by peers and removal of subscriptions when a peer exits or crashes. State change notifications serve to communicate changes in demand for and supply of services, both within a single network and across nested layers of networks-within-networks. Programs can give up responsibility for maintaining shared state and for scoping group communications, letting their containing network take on those burdens.


This repository contains

  • a Racket implementation of Syndicate (plus auxiliary modules) in racket/syndicate/

  • an ECMAScript 5 implementation of Syndicate in js/

  • larger example programs:

    • examples/platformer, a 2D Platform game written in Syndicate for Racket.

    • examples/netstack, a TCP/IP stack written in Syndicate for Racket. It reads and writes raw Ethernet packets from the kernel using Linux- and OSX-specific APIs.

  • a sketch of a Haskell implementation of the core routing structures of Syndicate in hs/


Copyright © Tony Garnock-Jones 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.