[erlang-questions] abstract/static modules, multicast, and best practices

Lasaro <>
Wed Apr 16 14:32:52 CEST 2008

On Apr 16, 12:01 am, "Richard A. O'Keefe" <> wrote:
> On 16 Apr 2008, at 4:26 am, Roberto Saccon wrote:
> > on behalf of: Lasaro Camargos <>:
> > When I saw the guarded receives of erlang, it seemed like it would be
> > the perfect match since in my protocols, most actions are triggered by
> > a message receipt. I though would be able to write:
> > loop(State) ->
> > receive
> > {M} when CondA(State) andalso CondB(State) ->
> >       StateN = doStateTransition1(State)
> >       loop(StateN)
> > {M} when CondA(State) andalso CondC(State) ->
> >       StateN = doStateTransition2(State)
> >       loop(StateN)
> > end.
> I want to make a slightly different point.
> There are a number of CSP-ish languages, including Occam and
> arguably including Ada, where the guards on receive clauses
> are tested *before* announcing willingness to accept a communication.
> Ada 95 LRM 9.7.1 "Selective Accept", the "dynamic semantics" section
> makes it clear that FIRST the guards are evaluated to determine
> which alternatives are really on offer, and AFTER that a communication
> may take place involving one of the open alternatives.
> The Ada syntax makes the order relatively clear:
>         when Guard => accept Entry; ...
> The Erlang syntax makes Erlang's order relatively clear:
>         Pattern when Guard -> ...
> If the Guard doesn't mention any variables bound in the Pattern,
> the Erlang version effectively gives you the desired result.  But
> this does _in principle_ still leave the pattern matched against
> every message in the mailbox.  I don't suppose it's likely to be
> a problem.
> The reason I mention this is that not knowing TLA+, and given the
> "CondX(State)" mentions on the e-message, I found that I couldn't
> tell whether the original poster wanted test-before-accept or
> test-after-tentative-accept.

Just to clarify, in the Temporal Logic of Actions (TLA+) language, the
conditions may be any logic expression and hence may also include the
contents of the message being received (e.g., message is not too old).

On another reply someone mentioned that I might use macros instead of
the CondX functions. If fact, I tried to do that, but because I was
also using macros to "instantiate" modules, there was a problem
defining macros on top of other macros. I don't remember what exactly
it was but, anyway, as soon as I start using abstract modules (if I
really understand what they mean), then I will probably be able to
replace some conditions for macros.

Thanks for all the other replies, mainly the stuff about mnesia's


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