The Syndicated Actor Model (SAM) is at the heart of Synit. In turn, the SAM builds upon E-style actors, replacing message-exchange with eventually-consistent state replication as the fundamental building block for interaction. Both E and the SAM are instances of the Object Capability (ocap) model, a compositional approach to system security.

The "feel" of the system is somewhere between Smalltalk-style object-orientation, publish-subscribe programming, E- or Erlang-style actor interaction, Prolog-style logic programming, and Esterel-style reactive dataflow.

  1. Programs are Actors. Synit programs ("actors" in the SAM) interoperate by dataspace-mediated exchange of messages and replication of conversational state expressed as assertions.

  2. Ocaps for security and privacy. The ocap model provides the fundamental building blocks for secure composition of programs in the system. Synit extends the core ocap model with Macaroon-inspired attenuation of capabilities, for both limiting visibility of state and constraining access to behaviour.

  3. Reactivity and homeostasis. Programs publish relevant aspects of their internal state to peers (usually by placing assertions in a dataspace). Peers subscribe to those assertions, reacting to changes in state to preserve overall system equilibrium.

  4. Heterogeneous; "open". Different programming languages and styles interoperate freely. Programs may or may not be structured internally using SAM principles: the system as a whole is where the architectural principles are applied. However, it often makes good sense to use SAM principles within a given Synit program as well as between programs.

  5. Language-neutral. Where possible, programs interoperate via a simple protocol across transports like TCP/IP, WebSockets, and Unix sockets and pipes. Otherwise, they interoperate using traditional Unix techniques. The concrete syntax for the messages and assertions exchanged among programs is the Preserves data language.

  6. Strongly typed. Preserves Schemas describe the data exchanged among programs. Schemas compile to type definitions in various programming languages, helping give an ergonomic development experience as well as ensuring safety at runtime.