[erlang-questions] How would I trace how an application runs across several processes?

Yves S. Garret yoursurrogategod@REDACTED
Sat May 3 23:37:58 CEST 2014


Recently I've started a book called "Handbook of Neuroevolution through
Erlang".  I love the book.  However, when it comes to wrapping my head
about the nuts and bolts of the code written in the book, I'm finding this
to be a rather difficult thing to do.

Basically, when I start up the project, I get about 10+ processes running.
It's rather difficult for me to visualize in my head how they all
communicate and get along.  There are a lot of questions in my head along
the lines of "If I wanted to change this input from an integer to an atom,
would the app choke?  Where would it fail?  Why would it fail?".  When
you're writing an app with just one thread, this is -- comparatively --
easier to take apart.  However, when you have multiple processes, the task
seems to be exponentially increasing in complexity.

My question is this:  What strategies and tools do you use to look at
existing code and figure out how it works?

Secondly, I'm not terribly happy with the existing debugger in Erlang and
would love to know more about how the Erlang VM works.  What source should
I look into?  I've heard of a specific book, is it Joe Armstrong's
Programming Erlang?  I'm obviously new to the VM and would like to gain
understanding of how it works over time.

Thanks in advance,
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