[erlang-questions] Erlang performance on Windows

Benjamin Tolputt <>
Mon Nov 24 00:18:12 CET 2008

Mikael Pettersson wrote:
> Using autoconf or not is not my call, but the problems I had
> trying to build the system in cygwin with a cross-compiler to
> mingw had to do with various non-standard special case hacks
> the otp team has put in the configure files.

While I can't comment too much on the good/bad of the make system used
for Erlang; it was my impression that at least one of the special cases
was to use the Microsoft compiler (rather than gcc) for the compilation.
I remember reading (either in the README or this list) that the speed
difference between compiling with gcc & compiling with msvc is really
noticeable - with the exception of one file where the gcc "address of
label" extension helped speed up what would otherwise be a (very) large
switch statement.

While I've not compiled Erlang with gcc, I can attest to the fact that
msvc tends to optimise code somewhat better than gcc (at least as far as
the Win32 platform is concerned).

> The first thing I'll do on the Windows port is to make it possible
> to build the system with cygwin+mingw in a clean way. Once that's
> done a HiPE port should be easy.

It was my impression from the technical discussions (RE: HiPE on Win32)
that the problem was not one of difficulty but one of whether it was
advisable to use a certain feature of windows relating to stacks &
exception handling. Has this been resolved in a positive fashion (i.e.
we're happy with the issue being negligible and/or have a different method)?

I would very much like to hear the details & any progress on this as
Win32-enabled HiPE has been something of a pet issue for me. I was the
one that queried this last time, to which Mikael was able to give me a
good run down of why it wasn't possible at the time.


Benjamin Tolputt
Analyst Programmer

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