[erlang-questions] FPGA coming around the corner

Edmond Begumisa <>
Fri Jan 7 14:59:50 CET 2011

On Fri, 07 Jan 2011 22:58:50 +1100, Attila Rajmund Nohl  
<> wrote:

> 2011/1/7, Edmond Begumisa <>:
>>> If the time is to come, then surely this is the *right time* for the
>>> Erlang/OTP 'product' to step up and meet the challenges and mindset  
>>> that
>>> bind us daily owing to the chosen OO style forced onto us by C++/Java.
>> On a related note: I'm curious -- why is it that many seem unaware of
>> Erlang's advantages with multi-core? Even vocal MP experts that are
>> advocating for the change in mindset you describe and the need for
>> programmers to be aware of the disconnect and quickly adapt -- these
>> advocates don't sound like they're aware of Erlang (at least they don't
>> mention Erlang in their talks).
> Erlang is not a "silver bullet for multicore".

I don't think it is either! My point was parallelising parallel-able code  
is much much easier in Erlang than some of the options being offered up  
for the same purpose in other programming environments. It's as though the  
Erlang team has done most of the heavy lifting regarding SMP for you so  
you don't have to go looking at "transactional boosting."

> The root cause of many
> scalability problems is shared data (e.g. which users are logged in to
> the system). You have to protect the shared data (using e.g. mnesia
> transactions or the state of a single gen_server) in Erlang too. If
> the algorithm doesn't scale, it doesn't matter what language is used.
> In Erlang it is harder to accidentally share data, but probably this
> is the only strong point of the language in this regard.

I don't know about it being the only strong point. I think it's more than  
that. What floored me about Erlang in this area is the ease with which you  
can scan through your code looking for stuff you can parallelise and  
actually parallelise it without much fuss (whether or not you'll get the  
expected speed-ups is another question). Garcia's recent Pythagorus thread  
comes to mind...


But as Joe pointed out, the concern is programs suddenly starting to run  
slower and what you can do about it. The "what you can do about it" part  
seems to me to be a lot saner in Erlang than the pain say Java programmers  
have to go have to go through (at least when following that video.)

- Edmond -

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