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

Peer Stritzinger <>
Wed May 23 11:51:57 CEST 2012


The sparse documentation of Erlang internals can be seen as a
opportunity also.  I'm not sure if this needs to be done by the OTP
team at Ericsson.

The first opportunity is for a 1-3 day tutorial about Erlang internals
during the Erlang conferences (probably as part of Erlang University).
I would book a training like this as soon as it is offered alongside a
conference I can attend (Are you listening Erlang Solutions ?)

The second opportunity is for a book author.  Perfect would be a book
about Erlang internals like TCP/IP Illustrated Vol 2. The
Implementation (http://www.amazon.com/TCP-IP-Illustrated-Vol-Implementation/dp/020163354X)
where basically every line of code of the BSD TCP/IP implementation is
explained.

Probably a more realistic goal would be something along the lines of
the Design and Implementation of the *BSD Operating System e.g.:
(http://www.amazon.com/Implementation-Operating-paperback-Addison-Wesley-Systems/dp/0132317923,
http://www.amazon.com/Design-Implementation-FreeBSD-Operating-System/dp/0201702452)

I think the persons who are teaching the tutorial/writing the book
need not necessarily be members of the OTP team but should rather be
great teachers/writers.  The would need good access to the people that
have the internals knowledge however.

With this we can have Erlang internals knowledge (I'm not only talking
about beam) more spread and the OTP team can concentrate on making
their great new releases.

Cheers
Peer Stritzinger


> enough designers knowing this.
>
> I don't think a documentation of these things is so far away now (but no
> promise).
>
> I also want to comment regarding stability and compatibility of the .beam
> file format and thus instruction set.
> We always keep backwards compatibility with 2 major releases. This means
> that for example an R15B based system
> can load and run .beam files produced with an R13B based system. In practice
> this means 3-4 years of compatibility,
> The other way around, i.e loading .beam files produced with R15B on an older
> system is not supported.
>
> /Kenneth Erlang/OTP, Ericsson
>
>
>
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