[erlang-questions] wierd "function not used" problem - code included

Edwin Fine <>
Mon Oct 6 03:06:22 CEST 2008

deepblue_other wrote:
> so when I want to use spawn_link() with a named function that function has
> to be exported?
> same stands for regular spawn()?
Yes, if you use a spawn that takes Module, Function, Args, like spawn/3,
spawn/4, spawn_link/3, spawn_link/4,.... Or apply/3. And so on.

In general if you provide a so-called "MFA" (Module, Func, Args) to a
function, the Func has to be exported from Module, even if the Func is only
for internal use within Module.

It's important to know that the shell is your friend. It's critical to try
out little pieces of code in the shell to see if they work the way you
expect. For example, if you wanted to see if spawn could see your
data_process function, you could have tried it in the shell (I'm passing the
atom 'junk' instead of a real socket because I know the call will fail
because it's not exported, so the socket is not needed):

1> c(tcp_manager).
./tcp_manager.erl:33: Warning: function data_process/2 is unused
2> spawn(tcp_manager, data_process, [junk, []]).
=ERROR REPORT==== 5-Oct-2008::20:49:23 ===
Error in process <0.40.0> with exit value:

deepblue_other wrote:
> just a side question:
> once a certain "receive" configuration is set for a process it can never
> be changed to another "receive" configuration? it just popped in my head
> here when you said that i can inline the error "receive". 
I perhaps did not make myself clear. What I meant by saying you could inline
it is that I didn't see the value of writing

Fun = fun() -> do_something(),  do_something_else() end,

That's the same as writing


It is better in this case to put the code into a separate function. Better,
because you can hot-swap the code and change that function.

There's an excellent article about hot code swapping 
http://http://spawnlink.com/articles/rules-of-hot-code-swapping/ here .

>    %-----------------------------------------------
>    Listen_for_errors =
>    fun() ->
>            io:format("listening started~n"),
>            receive
>                {'EXIT', Pid, Why} ->
>                    io:format("~p exited because:~p", [Pid,Why]);
>                Other                 ->
>                    io:format("Other:~p~n", [Other])
>            end
>    end,
>    Listen_for_errors(),
>     %-----------------------------------------------
Finally, I'm not sure what Listen_for_errors() is supposed to do. It's just
going to sit there forever in the receive, waiting for the first message
that is sent (or en exit signal), and print it out (thus throwing it away),
and return. What did you want it to do?
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