[erlang-questions] pre-load large data files when the application start

Michael Truog <>
Sat Mar 26 00:11:56 CET 2016


On 03/25/2016 03:32 PM, Benoit Chesneau wrote:
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> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 11:19 PM Michael Truog < <mailto:>> wrote:
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>     On 03/25/2016 02:33 PM, Benoit Chesneau wrote:
>>
>>
>>     On Friday, March 25, 2016, Michael Truog < <mailto:>> wrote:
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>>         Having the build process generate the module file and the beam file seems decent.  There isn't a need to build the module dynamically (during runtime, upon startup) or store the unicode data in global storage due to the unicode changes being infrequent.   Then, if you do need to update due to unicode changes, you can always hot-load a new version of the module, during runtime and the usage of the module shouldn't have problems with that, if it is kept as a simple utility/library module.  This problem reminds me of the code at https://github.com/rambocoder/unistring and there might be overlap in the goals of these two repositories.
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>>     this is what the current release (1.2) does. But it doesn't compile in containers or machines =< 1GB. The build crash. This is why i'm looking at shipping a pre-compiled beam. or maybe include the data in a db. but for now my tests with a db file (ets) shows it's really slower 30-40ms vs 6ms using maps and a pre-compiled beam. Also maps use less storage compared to simply using function pattern matching in the beam.
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>>     - benoît
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>     I think you need to switch to using function pattern matching, when keeping it in a module to keep memory usage down. Storing everything in a map has to deal with a big chunk of map data, but storing everything in the module as function pattern matching cases is just part of the module data (should be better for GC due to less heap usage and should be more efficient).  You probably want to try and keep all the function pattern matching cases in-order, though it isn't mentioned as helpful at http://erlang.org/doc/efficiency_guide/functions.html#id67975 (might affect the compiler execution, if not the efficiency of the pattern matching).  If you used more formal processing of the unicode CSV data it will be easier, perhaps with a python script (instead of awk/shell-utilities, also portability is better as a single script), to create the Erlang module.  If necessary, you could use more than a single Erlang module to deal with separate functions, but a single function
>     should require a single module to keep its update atomic (not trying to split a function into multiple modules based on the input).
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> I agree pattern matching should be probably better than the maps for GC (they are only 1ms faster on lookup). But the problem is really not generating the module:
> https://github.com/benoitc/erlang-idna/blob/v1.x/src/idna_unicode_data1.erl
>
> The current issue with above is the amount of RAM needed to compile the beam. If the application is built on a machine with RAM => 1GB it will fail.  I guess I could just generate the beam with pattern matching and ship it like  I do in the "precompiled" branch . Unless some come with a better idea, i think i will go with it. WWhat do you think? The annoying thing is having to do the `-on_load` hack (just cause i'm lazy). Using rebar or erlang.mk <http://erlang.mk> i wouldjust generate and ship it in ebin dir. But rebar3 doesn't copy any content from it to its _build directory :|
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> - benoît
You can split the returned tuple into 3 separate modules with separate functions, each for a tuple element.  That should reduce the amount of memory necessary for compilation.  I know that is a bit odd, and would make the module update process less atomic (which is a bad thing), but as long as a separate module is used to call the 3 separate modules (their respective functions for each element) it can handle an error when the data is inconsistent between them.  I don't think there is a problem with treating this as a normal module, and I don't think you will be forced to use a beam file for deployment.


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