Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Programming » P (language)

The focus of this portion of our web guide is on the P programming language.

Developed collaboratively by Microsoft and the University of California at Berkeley, P is open-source, licensed under the MIT License, and available on GitHub. Key developers included Ankush Desai, Vivek Gupta, Ethan Jackson, Shaz Qadeer, and Sriram Rajamani.

First appearing in 2012, P was designed for asynchronous event-driven programming and the Internet of Things (IoT). The language enables programmers to specify systems consisting of a collection of state machines that communicate asynchronously in terms of events. P programs are able to run and be analyzed on any platform supported by .NET.

P was conceived with a clear set of design goals in mind, including asynchronous event-driven programming, fault-tolerance and uncertainty, and state machines and asynchrony.

P aims to meet the challenges posed by asynchronous computation. It provides a robust framework for modeling and specifying protocols in event-driven applications. Acknowledging the inherent unpredictability of distributed systems, P equips developers with tools to handle uncertainty gracefully, ensuring robustness even in the face of unexpected events. At its core, P revolves around state machines, which communicate asynchronously through events, forming the building blocks of complex systems.

P leverages the .NET ecosystem, allowing P programs to run and be analyzed on any platform supported by .NET. Additionally, P can generate C# and C code, enhancing its interoperability.

P encourages developers to think in terms of state machines. These machines encapsulate behavior, transitions, and event handling. By modeling systems as interconnected state machines, P simplifies complex interactions.

P's asynchronous nature revolves around events. Developers define events, transitions, and guards, allowing for precise control over system behavior.

P emphasizes safety. It provides tools for systematic testing of asynchronous reactive systems, ensuring robustness and minimizing Heisenbugs, which are elusive, timing-dependent bugs.

P's .NET integration ensures that P programs can run on various platforms, making it versatile for IoT and other distributed applications.

The P community actively maintains and enhances the language through GitHub. Researchers and practitioners contribute to its evolution, refining its features and addressing real-world challenges.

Both Go (Golang) and P emphasize concurrency, but P's focus on asynchronous event-driven programming sets it apart. P's state machines provide a higher level of abstraction for complex systems.

Like Erlang, P targets fault-tolerant, distributed systems. However, P's formal verification tools and .NET compatibility give it an edge in safety and practicality.

P finds its niche in the following domains: IoT, distributed systems, and protocols and communication.

P's event-driven approach suits the IoT landscape, where devices communicate asynchronously. It enables robust, fault-tolerant IoT systems. P's safety features make it appealing for building reliable distributed systems, and P excels at modeling and specifying communication protocols, ensuring smooth interactions between components.

P embraces asynchrony, safety, and the challenges of distributed systems. Its state machine-based paradigm and focus on events make it a powerful tool for building resilient software in an increasingly connected world.



Recommended Resources

Search for P (language) on Google or Bing