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Apple’s swift-distributed-actors library is an interesting one. It’s an ambitious project with great potential, but while you can adopt async/await, tasks, and other areas of Swift concurrency incrementally, building a server app on top of distributed actors is a much bigger decision, especially while the library is still in beta.

What would help tremendously with making a decision like that is an example app. There are some samples in the repository and more awaiting merging, but wouldn’t it be great to have something a little more substantial? That’s Jaleel Akbashev’s plan with his swift-chat project that he posted to the Swift Community Showcase yesterday.

It’s so great to see projects like this pop up within the community, and what Jaleel is building could turn into a great demo of an end-to-end Swift app. Yes, it covers advanced concurrency through distributed actors, but it also takes advantage of hummingbird, postgres-nio, and client technologies like swift-composable-architecture and swift-dependencies.

I’m curious about what technologies like distributed actors will be used for. It sits somewhere in between “everything happens on this machine” and something totally distributed, like two apps that communicate via HTTP APIs¹. Chat apps, like the one in this repository, seem like a good fit, but I’m looking forward to seeing other uses appear over time and as we see the library hit a 1.0 release.

Jaleel is looking for feedback and has been clear that this is a work in progress, so please be gentle if you head over there. I love that he’s putting this project out there and want to celebrate efforts like this, though, so please do check it out.


¹ I found these two articles helpful in taking my knowledge on this subject from “zero” to “dangerously uninformed”. 😂

Dave Verwer  

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And finally...

Well, it is in silicon valley! 😍

(this installation made an appearance in the recent Apple event, too)