[erlang-questions] Re: Shared/Hybrid Heap

Anthony Shipman <>
Fri Nov 5 10:09:19 CET 2010

On Thu, 4 Nov 2010 05:34:46 pm Jeff Schultz wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 03, 2010 at 10:47:05PM -0400, Ryan Zezeski wrote:
> > What is wrong about using a mutable data structure that can only ever be
> > touched by _one_ and only _one_ process?  Then, if this process wants to
> Well, mutability may impose a significant cost on all but the simplest
> garbage collectors, and part of that cost will be paid even if nothing
> mutable is being mutated.  Whether this is a net performance gain or
> loss will vary with the circumstances, but it's not an inevitable win.
> The extra complexity may also lead to more, usually nasty, garbage
> collection bugs.
>     Jeff Schultz

If I were designing an erlangish language I would enrich the binary pattern 
system to look more like C data definitions. Then I could have a mutable 
binary that is accessed through the C-like pattern for reading and writing. I 
could then have a reasonably efficient image buffer. There would be no 
possibility of pointers to other data structures inside such a binary so 
there would be no GC issues. It would be possible to send the binary to 
another process but the sender would lose access to it.

Anthony Shipman                    Mamas don't let your babies 
                   grow up to be outsourced.

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