[erlang-questions] Fwd: FW: Maximising memory compactness

Andreas Schumacher <>
Fri Apr 4 13:33:37 CEST 2014


As a matter of fact, the half-word emulator will be deprecated in OTP 17.0,
which will be released next week. The reason for that is that there have
been very few (if any) users; and thus, the maintenance costs outweigh its
value.

Andreas Schumacher, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB


-----Original Message-----
From:  [mailto:
] On Behalf Of Kostis Sagonas
Sent: den 4 april 2014 11:39
To: Erlang
Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Maximising memory compactness

On 04/04/2014 10:33 AM, Olivier BOUDEVILLE wrote:
> Let's suppose one would like to run a large, distributed (Erlang)
> application, with many processes, and that ends up, in some cases,
> being RAM-bound.
 > ...
> The half-word emulator would seem the simplest/most elegant solution
> to do so ....
 >
> So, my question: would relying on a set of 32-bit VMs per host,
> instead of a single 64-bit VM, look like the best option here?

My opinion is (and has always been) that the half-word emulator seems cute
on the surface but deep down is a bad idea (esp. for a language with
automatic memory management like Erlang, or if your application has any
plans of growing someday).

So I would really advice against it. In fact, IMO it's better to try to
forget about its existence for anything other than for small embedded
devices or in machines that do not have more than 3GB of memory.

Unfortunately, I am very busy to elaborate more on this right now. But even
if I had more time, I would probably try to find better things to do than
think/talk about the half-word emulator. Leaning back and relax until you
forget about it (or simply waiting for the day that it is taken out of the
distribution) is preferable IMO.

Kostis
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