[erlang-questions] Small Erlang VM

john s wolter <>
Sat Jul 5 20:36:29 CEST 2008


These all sound like good informational leads.  Considering the age of OCCAM
I'd look to contrast it with Erlang as to whether Erlang offers newer
features.  Many considerations would go into development environment
selection.  As I look back over the last two decades the distributed and
hard real-time control issue has been an ongoing for me and industry.  Today
because of all the gadgets and sytems, this marketplace is huge.  Add to
this the desire to be transparently interconnected locally and worldwide
there appears to be an opportunity.

[Tangent Alert -- Here's a radical statement that should be a separate
discussion thread.  Right now I think all the Object-Oriented language
systems need an underlying runtime that is transparently current with a
messaging infrastructure.   It may be that Erlang or the likes would be the
way to provide that.  O-O needs a automatically distributed place(s) for
object instances to run.  Bertrand Meyer in his book "Object-Oriented
Software Construction" has a couple of chapter dedicated to runtime issues.
He does a fine job of linking O-O design needs to actual runtime behaviors
needed.  Maybe all the distributed O-O runtimes at the core, should be based
on Erlang like features.]

Don't know if this helps, but there's a project leveraging the concurrency
> in the Occam-pi language by running a transputer interpreter on the Lego
> Mindstorm NXT and RCX(!!).
> More details at:
> http://www.transterpreter.org/

The OCCAM came out of the Transputer developments of INMOS in the early
1980's.  I looked at it as a solution to distributed control at that time.
I have a complete copy of the original data books for the processor and as I
recall I believe I have a microprocessor set in my chip collection.   They
are almost 23 years old.

<http://www.transterpreter.org/>I'm a fairly new follower of this mailing
> list. Has the topic of transputers come up before? My understanding of the
> transputer architecture (and by consequence the transterpreter) is that it's
> stack-based rather than register-based... so performance may suffer compared
> to the Erlang VM.

Here's the Wikipedia link about Transputers for those interested,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transputer .

Here is one about OCCAM,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam_programming_language .

It would be interesting to see some comparisons of concurrent languages.
Here's Wikipedia's short article which is interesting in that it lists many
different languages.

Intel created another specialized microprocessor that had messaging and
features to support object-oriented environments.  It was the iAPX-432, it
was a commercial failure.  Here is the Wikipedia link,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_iAPX_432   I think I also have a data
book set and a chip set of this.

It appears to me that Erlang could find an important application range for
use in hard real-time systems.

> Good luck!! Who knows, maybe you will create a "picoErlang" :)
>> On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 6:22 PM, Alpár Jüttner <> wrote:
>>> On Thu, 2008-07-03 at 12:52 -0400, Edwin Fine wrote:
>>> > I understand why you would want to use Erlang, but instead of writing
>>> > an entire interpreter with all the complexity that entails, would you
>>> > consider using another language that is very good in extremely
>>> > resource-restricted environments? FORTH comes to mind. If you just
>>> > want to Get Things Done, that is;
>>> I don't think so. For example I'm working on a controlling application
>>> which could probably run on the weakest possible hardware, but would be
>>> a great struggle to implement in any sequential programming language
>>> (because I need the various timers and complex scheduling of action and
>>> handing of events).
>>> For these kinds of tasks, Erlang fits extremely well. I think a
>>> lightweight version of the erlang emulator could find a lot of
>>> applications in this area.
>>> Best regards,
>>> Alpar
>> --
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>> contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and
>> unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the
>> discomfort of thought.
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John S. Wolter President
Wolter Works
Desk 1-734-665-1263
Cell: 1-734-904-8433

John S. Wolter President
Wolter Works
Desk 1-734-665-1263
Cell: 1-734-904-8433
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