[erlang-questions] Fwd: Is there a good source for documentation on BEAM?

Joe Armstrong <>
Mon May 7 10:47:26 CEST 2012


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joe Armstrong <>
Date: Mon, May 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Is there a good source for
documentation on BEAM?
To: Jonathan Coveney <>


Hi,

I did start writing a description but it's not very complete.

This is on my list of things-to-do-one-day-when-you-get-time

  See http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4764922/beam.pdf

If there is any interest I could up the priority :-)

/Joe


On Mon, May 7, 2012 at 8:39 AM, Jonathan Coveney <> wrote:
> This question seems to come up now and again, and it's surprising to me that
> a crucial part of the documentation isn't better documented. Is there a
> reason that it is the case? Is the reason that there is no VM spec to give
> the devs the flexibility to change the intermediate layer without having to
> worry about backwards compatibility to the degree that Java does?
>
> Thus far I've found a description of the opcodes:
> http://azunyanmoe.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/erlang-vm-opcodes/
>
> and this resource on the file format:
> http://www.erlang.se/~bjorn/beam_file_format.html
>
> But there doesn't seem to be a lot of high level talk about what the opcodes
> do (a la the JVM specification, for example). I know it's not impossible,
> and could always ask the guys at Erjang how they went about it, but thought
> I'd ask here.
>
> Please forgive a newbie question, and thanks in advance
> Jon
>
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