[erlang-questions] What is the best way to parse complex erlang terms in port drivers?

Zhemzhitsky Sergey Sergey_Zhemzhitsky@REDACTED
Thu Jun 7 09:19:38 CEST 2012

Hi Richard,

Thanks a lot for answer. It is rather helpful.

>> Why was it hard to see in the documentation?
As I'm kinda a newbie at erlang I understand your indignation. I supposed there should be some best practices and of cause I don't know them for now.

The question was asked first of all because there are a lot of samples which use different approaches to parse erlang terms and I'd like to know the best one from the point of view of source code maintainability and simplicity. 
I'm also interested in not only mentioned approaches but in the alternative ones.

Best Regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: erlang-questions-bounces@REDACTED [mailto:erlang-questions-bounces@REDACTED] On Behalf Of Richard O'Keefe
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2012 6:12 AM
To: erlang-questions@REDACTED
Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] What is the best way to parse complex erlang terms in port drivers?

Zhemzhitsky Sergey <Sergey_Zhemzhitsky <at> troika.ru> asked about the difference between the eterm interface and the ei interface.

My understanding of this is that the eterm interface lets you manipulate Erlang terms, while the ei interface lets you manipulate the (serialised) binary representation of terms.

eterm: walk around/generate unpacked trees without ever
       going through binaries
ei:    sequentially generate/parse packed binaries
       without going through trees

Does this answer the question?  Why was it hard to see in the documentation?  I thought the first couple of paragraphs of www.erlang.org/doc/man/{erl_eterm,ei}.html made it pretty clear.

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