[erlang-questions] code garbage collector

Kostis Sagonas <>
Wed Oct 5 10:09:53 CEST 2016


On 10/05/2016 09:54 AM, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> I want the *opposite* of "including a dependency" but rather a tool that
> garbage collects code reducing it to a minimal program.

I doubt that something like that exists.  Note that Erlang is not just a 
higher-order language where you need to do a complicated analysis, but 
it is also language that also allows something along the lines of:

   % foo/3 is an exported function (called with some constructed lists)

   foo(L1, L2, Args) ->
     M = list_to_atom(L1), F = list_to_atom(L2), apply(M, F, Args).

Of course, writing an analysis that is effective if no such cases exist 
or a conservative analysis that protects itself from such cases is 
doable.  But you need to base it on a "closed-world assumption" of some 
sort.

Kostis


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