[erlang-questions] make_ref bug or feature?
Fri Mar 27 13:19:30 CET 2009
I was putting Refs into a term and then serializing them with term_to_binary
and sending them into a socket to another independent Erlang system
(ie not using distributed Erlang) - so yes it was a problem since I'd
On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 12:57 PM, Serge Aleynikov <> wrote:
> Since a reference contains a node name, it's considered unique in a
> distributed setup when nodes have different names (or within a single
> non-distributed node). When two shells are started this way, since they are
> not aware of each other and can't see each other's references, is it a
> problem that their values are identical?
> Joe Armstrong wrote:
>> I got a question from Ivo Danihelka about make_ref().
>> Isn't make_ref() supposed to generate "an almost unique reference" the
>> manual says
>> "Returns an almost unique reference.
>> The returned reference will re-occur after approximately 2^82
>> calls; therefore it is unique enough for practical purposes."
>> If I start two erlang shells and evaluate the following in both shells:
>> 1> io:format("~p~n",[term_to_binary(make_ref())]).
>> They *both* print the same thing - this violates the principle of
>> least astonishment.
>> (I thought I'd have to start 2^82 shells :-)
>> Is this a bug or a feature?
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