[erlang-questions] Internal compiler atoms

Richard A. O'Keefe <>
Mon Jul 31 02:16:45 CEST 2017



On 30/07/17 1:18 AM, Björn-Egil Dahlberg wrote:
> All identifiers, i.e. variables and function names, are represented as
> atoms internally in the compiler.

For what it's worth, Quintus Prolog on 32-bit machines had a hard limit
of 2 million atoms and a realistic limit of a lot fewer.  With that in
mind, Quintus represented variable names as a sort of ersatz packed
string (in such a way that they sorted correctly).  With some of our
customers trying to compile large amounts of machine-generated code,
this was a practical necessity.  For Erlang, binaries are the obvious
choice.




More information about the erlang-questions mailing list