In Proceedings

MUTS: native Scala constructs for software transactional memory.
June 2011

In this paper we argue that the current approaches to implementing transactional memory in Scala, while very clean, adversely affect the programmability, readability and maintainability of transactional code. These problems occur out of a desire to avoid making modifications to the Scala compiler. As an alternative we introduce Manchester University Transactions for Scala (MUTS), which instead adds keywords to the Scala compiler to allow for the implementation of transactions through traditional block syntax such as that used in “while” statements. This allows for transactions that do not require a change of syntax style and do not restrict their granularity to whole classes or methods. While implementing MUTS does require some changes to the compiler’s parser, no further changes are required to the compiler. This is achieved by the parser describing the transactions in terms of existing constructs of the abstract syntax tree, and the use of Java Agents to rewrite to resulting class files once the compiler has completed. In addition to being an effective way of implementing transactional memory, this technique has the potential to be used as a light-weight way of adding support for additional Scala functionality to the Scala compiler.

Authors: Daniel Goodman, Behram Khan, Salman Khan, Chris Kirkham, Mikel Lujan, Ian Watson

Venue: Scala Days 2011


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