[erlang-questions] Erlang shell crashes

Kostis Sagonas <>
Mon Oct 30 11:57:59 CET 2006

Jay Nelson wrote:
> Also verify that for every message send (i.e., Pid ! Msg) there is somewhere
> that you receive the message.  If you are using receive patterns that do not
> match up, messages will accumulate that can never be removed.

In the context of the Dialyzer tool, we want for a long time now to 
extend its analysis so that it is also able to detect concurrency bugs 
like this one -- I have even written a research proposal to a Swedish 
funding agency that, if funded, promises to do exactly this type of 
static analysis.

Although the analysis needed is not trivial, we (think we) know exactly 
how to do this, but doing it never made it high on our priority list 
partly due to lack of "real" test cases where such defect detection is 
needed.  We would very much appreciate if Erlang users send us code 
which suffers exactly from this type of problem.  We promise we will not 
use this code for any other purposes.

> You should also use a catch all message to remove any messages you were not expecting:
> receive
>   {From, expected_msg, Data} ->
>         do_something(Data);
>   AnyUnexpectedMsg ->
>         log_and_skip_handling(AnyUnexpectedMsg)
> end.

Doing this, of course solves this problem by potentially hiding it under 
the carpet, right?


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