Two decades ago, I had to quickly integrate a number of individual research applications under a cohesive management interface. I ended up spawning tasks and streaming results from one module to another through BSD sockets. There really was no other solution. It was quick to do and the performance of the system was incredible.
Then things became heavy with CORBA and SOAP and the like and it felt like the programming world became more monolithic and bureaucratic and very heavy.
It’s great to see the return of sockets and streaming to the mainstream. I think machine-to-machine communication is going to get fun again.
Check this out: http://zeromq.org/