[erlang-questions] '--' BIF to be used with caution?

Matthew Palmer <>
Fri Feb 13 03:01:29 CET 2009


On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 02:12:35PM +1300, Richard O'Keefe wrote:
> I wrote:
> >
> > For teeny tiny lists, they are all too fast
> > to measure reliably, which means that for teeny tiny lists
> > there is no point in keeping the C code.
> >
> On 12 Feb 2009, at 11:37 pm, Hynek Vychodil wrote:
> >
> > Hundreds hares are wolf's death. Keep in mind that Erlang systems is  
> > supposed to be soft real time in some application. There is latency  
> > matter in those applications. If in one task you have to do hundreds  
> > of '--' operations even with short lists you need do it in ns or us  
> > times and BIF is worth solution there.
> 
> I'm not familiar with the "hundred hares" proverb and
> am unable to grasp its meaning here.

I'm not familiar with it myself either, but I'm pretty sure from the context
that it's similar in concept to "death by a thousand cuts", or a variation
on "the straw the broke the camel's back", that is, while doing something
small once or twice might not have an impact, do it a large enough number of
times and you'll have a problem.

- Matt



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