[erlang-questions] Erlang VM in Rust

Oliver Korpilla <>
Sat Sep 23 09:28:37 CEST 2017


Hello.

>These days I am getting a little confused about what "IoT" actually
>means. I thought it was lots of small devices, but the last couple
>of talks I've view seem to take it as synonymous with the cloud.
>Let's go with the first definition: talking teddy bears, internet-
>connected lightbulbs, sensors using MPS430 CPUs and the like.

I think what makes it an "Internet of Things" is really the cloud aspect, not the micro-controller aspect. So, the foremost concern would be to allow these devices to interact with each other locally in a safe and defined way and to let them occasionally connect to the cloud as needed.

So, it's not basically about the first definition. We already had that. It's like saying "Let's not have an internet of things." 

Having said that I see no immense security risk in writing code for a remote sensor in C. It avoids one of the prime security risks: human user interactions and all the buffer overrun problems and string processing stuff that is so hard to do safely that there are still books being written about.

The question is when an individual device gets complex enough to warrant using proper abstractions - like using Erlang. That might not be a good business case for the smallest micro-controllers, but any device actually having to manage a more serious kind of network interaction might hugely benefit. The more the device is intended to do outside the cloud - or the more complex its interaction with other devices or the cloud becomes - the more readily I would say moving away from C would yield benefits.

Of course that is a huge sidetrack from the discussion if the Erlang VM could benefit from a Rust rewrite. ;-) I mean, are we really arguing here that C is a good answer to the problem of writing networked software? Really??

Tongue in cheek implied. 

Cheers,
Oliver


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