[erlang-questions] Ideas for a new Erlang
Richard A. O'Keefe
Thu Jun 26 07:32:38 CEST 2008
> I wrote:
> I hope that we can rely on Erlang garbage collection to
>> collect any process suspended in a receive construct and not
>> and not referenced by any other process. If we can, the
>> distinction is
>> only useful to people and not really needed by the computer.
Perhaps I should make it clear that I was not entirely serious in that
hope. It *would* be nice, but it was really a stick to beat the
proposal with. Since channels can be used in the way that processes are
now, and since a reference to a Nystrom channel amounts to a reference
its process, channels have much the same consequences for/problems with
distributed GC as processes.
On 26 Jun 2008, at 4:35 pm, Matthew Reilly wrote:
> This will doubtfully ever happen. Since erlang is distributed, a pid
> may be referenced via a process on a completely different node, so
> any garbage collection of pids would therefore need to be distributed.
Distributed GC is no longer rocket wizardry.
(Well, it _is_, but the wizards have published.)
> Adding on to this term_to_binary, mnesia, ... pids could be stored
> in different formats or even on disk.
The same, of course, applies to channels. So when DO channels go away?
> You also may wish to have pids that are unreferenced by any other,
> but still do important work e.g.
> loop() ->
> after 1000 ->
> % Touch the hardware watchdog to prevent the system from
Imprecise wording on my part; I didn't intend waiting for a timeout to
only waiting for a message.
Interestingly, if you have channels, and a process is waiting for a
on a channel, and no other process has a reference to that channel, the
process is effectively dead, no matter how many other channels it has or
how many other processes have references to them.
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