Thoughts on laziness (long)

Robert Virding <>
Fri Oct 20 10:24:54 CEST 2000

Ulf Wiger <> writes:
>On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Jeffrey Straszhiem wrote:
>>Efficient dictionaries are a very important feature, and hash tables
>>seem to be the only way to get them.  And for that reason Erlang has
>>made the right choice in throwing purity to the wind and providing ets
>>tables and their like.
>Actually, you could view ets tables as an analogy to a server process
>holding the tables (or one process per table), updating a functional
>structure, and servicing insert/lookup requests via message passing.
>I wrote an Erlang-based ets implementation for the Erlang processor,
>and this is how it was done.
>My point is that you could well claim that the one impure feature of
>Erlang's is message passing. Ets tables bring nothing more to the
>table than what could be done using "classic" Erlang - it just does it

You took the words right out pf my mouth.  This has been my point for
quite a while that Erlang has really only one impure feature, and that
is processes and message passing.  Anything else can be viewed in terms
of these.  Like ETS tables.

What I would have preferred with ETS tables is to have more explicit 
access to the primitive hash-table operations instead of bundling 
everything into one package.


Robert Virding                          Tel: +46 (0)8 545 55 017
Alteon Web Systems                      Email: 
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