Is this not something that could be done in Haskell by defining a new monad type? Perhaps also a tool to deploy such programs to the cluster would be useful. It seems to me that this paradigm doesn't require a whole new programming language, or that it wouldn't be as ergonomic in Haskell.
The nodes being provisioned are all local nodes, running in the same node container. Obviously we’d like to provision nodes running on other computers, or provision from a managed cloud service (like unison.cloud, coming soon) and/or a P2P mesh of nodes.
And further down on the original linked page there's some more info on something it's using for the distributed system description that I don't believe would be possible in Haskell:
This dynamic transfer / deployment of arbitrary computations is possible because definitions in Unison are identified by a cryptographic hash of their content, including the hashes of all dependencies (the hash is also "nameless" as it isn't affected by naming of variables). ...
I've been watching the project a bit here and there and it has a number if interesting aspects to it For another example, check out the 'semantic editor': http://unisonweb.org/2016-03-16/semantic-vs-text.html
> If you look at what programmers spend their time doing when programming (other than thinking of course), it’s actually stuff like:
> - Adding imports to the code to be able to resolve names
The video in this page is also showing nothing that hasn't existed for years in pretty much all IDE's under the sun.
What the editor is tackling has some overlap with common IDE features, but it’s taking a deeper approach to addressing them.
You listed one item from a big list of tasks, but the more interesting thing is what’s written after the list about how unison addresses the items.
And before demeaning the creators it may be worth it to look into their background a bit and see if it’s more likely to you that they are unaware of modern IDEs or if it’s possible you haven’t fully grasped some of their ideas yet.
This is not to say unison style computations on GHC Haskell are impossible. For the start of serializing lazy computations see https://github.com/jberthold/packman or http://hackage.haskell.org/package/ghc-heap-view-0.6.0. I would love if Unison's hashing model was added to GHC, but Haskell compiled to WASM is a more likely candidate for obtaining hashes.
> This dynamic transfer / deployment of arbitrary computations is possible because definitions in Unison are identified by a cryptographic hash of their content, including the hashes of all dependencies (the hash is also "nameless" as it isn't affected by naming of variables).
> To transfer a computation, we send it to the recipient, and the recipient checks to see if the computation references any unknown hashes. Any unknown hashes are synced to the recipient before the transfer completes and the computation proceeds.
Previous discussion (2015):