General questions about the power of Erlang

Karel Van Oudheusden <>
Mon Dec 11 22:26:23 CET 2000


Hello,


I am hesitating on using Erlang (for designing and implementing
multimedia client server Internet applications).
Would somebody please answer (some of) the following questions for me:


1)  If I look at the evolution from Java to Java for real-time (RT), the
programmer will be able to specifiy physical memory desires in the Java
for RT API.   The reason for this is because the Java for RT API will
permit the programmer to use "Java physical memory objects".  This is a
new class added to the Java RT API.

I am wandering whether I am able to do physical memory management in
Erlang too?
If I'm not mistaken, the semantics of Erlang were not designed for this
purpose as opposed to concurrency and distribution which is well
supported indeed.

If I am not able to specify physical (or even virtual) memory management
constraints in Erlang, I still assume that I can change some
functionality behind the scenes to obtain the same effect.

Does anybody have any experience on this subject?  Please enlighten me.
The reason for this question is because I plan to implement multimedia
applications.  These applications contain lots of dynamic data
structures which I want to handle optimally with dynamic memory
management.


2)  I have worked with Ada95 previously.  I read that Erlang was
developed with Ada and the functional paradigm as the main sources of
inspiration.  This is great, however, my experience with Ada95 is that
it behaves differently on different platforms even though it is not
supposed to do this.  As a matter of fact, it is well known by know that
the Ada specifications are not supported to a full extent on all
platforms that can run Ada95.

I was wandering whether Erlang does behave correctly on for instance
Windows and if so, does it behave in the same manner as on Linux?

It is for me hard to believe that Erlang actually works well on Windows
platforms since we are talking here about (soft) real-time
applications.  Or am I missing something here?

3)  I read in the FAQ that application types, such as image processing
and signal processing, are not meant to be implemented in Erlang.  (They
would perform badly if they were implemented in Erlang.)
I am wandering if research is being done on defining a new "Erlang
approach" for these types of applications.  So instead of concurrent,
distributed and hot code loadable applications, a new kind of Erlang
semantics could be developed for data dominated, real-time, multimedia
processing applications.



Regards,
Karel.




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