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

Tim Watson <>
Thu May 10 09:38:00 CEST 2012


> 
> 
> So perhaps the right approach is to do a kickstarter to fund someone writing a deep dive Erlang/OTP internals book? 
> Complexity: roughly the level of writing a Linux kernel book, at a quick guess. Perhaps a bit easier.
> 

That would be a vital spot on every erlang programmer's bookshelf for sure.

>>> Another argument might be that BEAM should be specified in detail in order 
>> to be a suitable binary format for distribution, 
>>> which is essentially what the JVM instruction set has become.
>> 
>> I suggested many years ago that Erlang should take a leaf out of Kistler's
>> book (or PhD thesis).  The "Juice" system for Oberon compiled source 
>> files
>> to abstract syntax trees, then cleverly compressed the ASTs and used them
>> as the binary distribution form.  They came in smaller than .class files
>> and had no presuppositions about the target hardware (not even primitive
>> size and alignment if I recall correctly).  The cost of decompressing and
>> generating native code was low, to the point where it was faster to
>> dynamically load Juice files than their equivalent of .so/.dll files, and
>> the generated code actually ran faster because the code generator knew
>> more about the environment of the target, including existing code.  (I
>> don't know if the Juice runtime did cross-module inlining, but it would
>> have been possible.)
> 
> 
> Not a bad idea.
> 
> Best regards,
> Thomas
> 
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