[erlang-questions] Erlang VM in Rust

Felix Gallo <>
Thu Sep 21 20:26:32 CEST 2017


I think Rust takes several steps in wrong directions, but the answer to (2)
is obvious -- even though we've had 40 years to learn how to 'better code
our drivers', the world of software is a shaky, broken, rickety pile of
insecure nonsense and it's only getting worse over time.  There is
apparently no amount of learning we can do and we need the machines to help
us.

Erlang solves the memory safety problem by enforcing immutability, which
has incredibly low mechanical sympathy and ends up being unperformant for a
large and useful set of problems.  Rust solves it by giving the developer a
bewilderingly bedazzled straitjacket and telling them to sort it out if
they want performance.  Pony's straitjacket has better affordances in my
opinion but is still deeply confusing to developers.  The fact that we are
all trying is no accident.

F.

F.

On Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM, Frank Muller <>
wrote:

> Erlang newbie here ...  jumping into the subject.
>
> While agree with most of the ideas about security, speed ... I still can't
> get some really basic things.
>
> 1. Why one should trade a time-proven, close to metal, fars language like
> C with more than ~40yrs of existence with a new one? We don't even know if
> Rust will exist in the near future. That's not gonna be the case for C
> apparently (IoT, etc.).
>
> 2. Why simply not simply learn how to better code our NIF/Drivers instead?
> C was/is my main programming language for many years now, and I didn't have
> any major issue with it (medium to large projects) in production
> environment so far. Maybe I'm just lucky, maybe not.
>
> Thanks for your comments and feedbacks.
>
> /Frank
>
> On 09/21/2017 06:15 PM, James Churchman wrote:
>> > My opinion is that a full re-write of all VM's in Rust, especially the
>> > Erlang VM should be a very very high priority in the world of computing
>>
>> There's a reason Netscape died...
>>
>> Perhaps Rust can and should be used for parts of the VM, but a full
>> rewrite would be suicide, especially considering BEAM development does
>> not have gigantic resources to begin with.
>>
>> Even if you rewrite only parts of the VM, while you're rewriting you're
>> not improving the features stack.
>>
>> --
>> Loïc Hoguin
>> https://ninenines.eu
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>> 
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>
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