Bang bang operators

Bjorn Gustavsson <>
Thu Apr 1 14:19:50 CEST 2004


There has been a suggestion to add a '!!' or bang bang operator
to Erlang as syntatic sugar for rpc:call().

We will not make '!!' an official operator, as we think that
if you add an operator it should do something completely new
that you couldn't do before.

To avoid breaking code for those that have hacked their parsers
to add the '!!' operator, we have left '!!' alone and we will not
re-define it.

Instead we will add the following operators to a special patch
release of R9C:

'!!!', or the triple-bang operator: Sends an email using the SMTP
protocol. Example:

	   !!! <<"Body of mail here...">>

The operator will return only when an answer mail has been received
(and return the complete email message including all headers).
Further mails received from the same user will automatically be sent
to the calling processes as messages looking like: {'!!!',MailText}

'!!!!', or the quad-bang operator: Same, but allow you send mail to
all users that you have previously send mail to in a domain using the
'!!!' operator. For instance:

          mec.com !!!! <<"Body of mail here...">>

will send mail to any user you have previously mailed using the '!!!'
operator (only in the current Erlang emulator, but from any process
within it). Returns only when at least one reply email has been received.

'!!!!!', or the spam-bang operator: Same, but the operator will attempt
to find out email addresses from the given domain and send the mail to
all of them. Methods for finding email addresses include but is not
limited to: scanning all web pages found in the domain, bribing sys admins,
scanning google search results, and the IBM memo.

'!!!!!!', or the super-bang operator: Tries to send mail to all email
addresses on the Internet. Returns as soon as one reply email has been
received. Example:

	  ipv4 !!!! <<"Body of mail here...">>

Spams all hosts running the IP4 protocol.

'!!!!!!!', or the super-spam-bang operator (unary): Attemps to send to
all mail hosts on both IPv4 and IPv6, as well as all of X400 net,
CompuServe etc etc.

Another great feature is that a disclaimer similar to the one below
will be included in all sent email messages.

The release is scheduled for later today, April 1, 2004.

The Big Bang Bang Workgroup at OTP

- Bjorn/Patrik/DanG

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