General questions about the power of Erlang

Samuel Tardieu sam@REDACTED
Tue Dec 12 10:41:47 CET 2000

On 11/12, Karel Van Oudheusden wrote:

| 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.

Where did you read that Erlang was developed with Ada? (I'm very interested
if you can give me such a reference, being an Erlang and Ada fan)

Concerning the lack of support, I am surprised of what you write (hoping
it is not a troll that I would be feeding :-) The GNAT compiler supports
the complete Ada language (including all the annexes) and is known to be
the most reliable Ada compiler. Moreover, it is free software, and based on
GCC: you get the very same code on any platform, the platform-specific glue
is quite small.

| 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?

What do you call "behave correctly"? Yes, Erlang works on both Windows on
Linux, and does its duty :)

| 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?

What prevents you from building soft real-time applications on Windows?
"best-effort" will always be "best-effort", even on a pityful platform
which offers no guarantee. I have even seen people doing soft real-time
in Java, with zero guarantee of the scheduling policy.

| 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.

My feeling is that those specific parts are best built through a port: you
can use your preferred compiled/fast/optimized language to do the
image/processing part.


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