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We recount and examine experiences with Hermes, an experimental language for programming distributed systems. Hermes has several unusual language features, including compile-time checking of data initialization, representation independent data aggregates, and an integrated process model. To facilitate compile-time initialization checking, Hermes stores data in tables and does not expose pointers. We study these features in light of the experiences of Hermes users around the world, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the language.doi:10.1002/spe.4380250404 fatcat:x34ifqaf3bfw5naxux3nsjboui