What is Vert.x?

Vert.x has gotten a lot of press recently, following the main developer’s move from VMware to RedHat and VMware’s subsequent attempt to gain control over the project.

While the news story is interesting and has implications with regards to open source project governance, I found myself also being interested in what the technology actually does. That wasn’t covered in the news at all.

As if turns out, Vert.x as an event-driven asynchronous network application development platform written in Java. It seems somewhat similar to Python’s Twisted library and Ruby’s Event Machine.

The one thing that sets Vert.x apart from other similar libraries, is that while being written in Java, Vert,x actually targets a whole slew of languages that can run on top of the JVM including Ruby, Python and Javascript. With Vert.x it seems not only can one write an application using a wide choice of languages, but also mix and match languages within the same application.

With projects like JRuby and Jython the JVM is becoming a universal language runtime, not unlike Microsoft’s CLR, but wit much wider portability and reach, this may have some interesting implications in the future.

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