As far as I understand the Actor Model and the Reactive Programming are separate concepts. Actor Model does not seem to be inherently reactive to me.

However the Akka framework which is an Actor Model implementation is being described as reactive:

"Java and Scala program logic lives in lightweight Actor objects, which send and receive messages in a reactive fashion."

"We Are Reactive"

Is it a case of misusing the term or they are completely correct? Is any actor model implementation (e.g. Erlang) already reactive? Is simply generating messages as a response to other messages considered reactive as well?

Some related reading where the approaches are contrasted:

1 Answer 1


They don't mean reactive as in functional reactive programming, they mean reactive as in the reactive manifesto, which is a more generic term for a movement to build software that is event-driven, scalable, and resilient. It's a relative recent movement and the term hasn't really caught on.

  • I did not imply just the functional variant either. Just when I am reading the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_programming description nothing screams "yep, Actor Model is spot on to lead into the reactive pit of success".
    – Den
    Sep 1, 2014 at 18:34

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