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

Vlad Dumitrescu <>
Thu May 10 10:28:28 CEST 2012


Hi,

On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:
> Now there are two levels at which one could describe the Beam - level one
> is the relationship between erlang code and the beam instructions -
> this is what I described.
>
> To describe the next level - we suddenly jump from a one chapter
> description to a
> entire book. This is a book that is tricky to write - I guess no one
> person knows
> all the answers.

This is not entirely on topic, but close enough (and probably only
Björn could know the answer, I have a feeling that reading the code
would require many years of study :-)): I have been wondering how much
is the runtime tied up to the BEAM instruction set.

More precisely, would it be possible (at least conceptually) to
separate the scheduler + process manager + message passing
infrastructure from the instruction executor?

One common thing is the internal data format (because the runtime
creates for example exit messages) so there are restrictions imposed
by that, but it would be kind of cool to be able to plug in an
interpreter for a different instruction set, in case one wants to use
something else than Erlang and this other thing can't be compiled to
Erlang, Erlang core or BEAM.

best regards,
Vlad



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