Can actors open TCP sockets or call out to web APIs? If not supported now, would that be added in the future, or is it structurally impossible?
I asked about this once, some weeks ago (Future plans for Motoko base library), there wasn’t any official response back then - maybe we’ll get luckier now.
But I can’t imagine that this isn’t on the roadmap somewhere. Without the ability to do arbitrary networking, hardly any real-world application can be run on the IC. It’d be naive to expect the whole internet to migrate onto the IC at once.
There is some algorithms for synchronizing external APIs and internal state. A good example would be Ethereum’s Oracle concept (see EIP-1154). There are challenges for a general TCP connection that make it impossible, though.
We aren’t yet discussing these possibilities, although that’s a bullet on our roadmap. I can’t say when we’ll get to it, as nobody knows what the priorities will look like after launching mercury. We’re all focused on that first.