August 24th, 2008

eyes black and white


As previously announced, I've started my own business. If you're looking for a software company that develops distributed reflective systems, look no further.

Our purpose will be to develop the ideas from the TUNES project, starting with the low-hanging fruits in the hope to fund our longer-term goals.

Our long-term goal is to use reflection (internalization of the knowledge and expertise of computing semantics) to improve semantics-based unification between programming languages, and otherwise push ever higher the level of abstraction at which programming may happen.

The low-hanging fruits, we think, still lie in better automation in the development and management of distributed computing systems, particularly so as regard the building of systems consistently manipulating large bodies of evolving persistent data.

We hope to build as our flagship product a database system that scales semi-automatically. Declarativeness, syntactic and semantic abstraction, will allow for faster development as well as easier management. Unlike existing "relational" or "object" databases, we will decouple the data model from the transaction model, allowing for enhanced robustness as well as unequalled flexibility in adapting the database to various application domains. Based on a relatively efficient dynamic higher-order typed language, and maintaining an explicit decoupling between monotonic (purely functional) and linear (stateful) fragments of our computational logic, we'll build a distributed system, a reliable multicast facility on top of which we can journal distributed transactions, that can be used to construct various queryable views of the data.

Our first version will probably extend and productize Erlang-in-Lisp, reuse Mnesia, and possibly combine these techniques with Elephant, BKNR or another such existing system to persist objects. Further versions may or may not be displace Common Lisp with Scheme, Factor, Javascript, or our own COLA, for total semantic control allowing for metaprograms that aid with code-data co-evolution.

All software will of course be Free Software, published under a dual license bugroff/MIT, and available on You'll be welcome to use it, improve on it, and either give back to the community or stubbornly hoard your improvements. But if you need the world best specialists to tailor our software to your needs, build robust and usable applications, and provide exceptional service, then you know where to find us. will continue to pursue its existence as an independent non-profit organization. Our company will be a separate for-profit entity that happens to contribute to the TUNES project. We are open to research and/or development contracts, with the understanding that our core software will be published as free software, although special-purpose customizations might remain an unpublished secret shared with our customers.

The current codename for our company is GHARF (rot13), though this name is neither marketable nor available in .COM. We have several ideas for an actual marketable name, but will refrain from announcing anything until we have secured the internet domain registration and setup an initial web site.