[erlang-questions] Opentracing for Erlang Processes

Ferenc Holzhauser <>
Thu Sep 28 19:06:12 CEST 2017

Hi Ricardo,

Otter has different APIs, but indeed you do need to pass something on the
process boundaries.
I think this discussion will be very otter specific, so I'd suggest to open
an issue on github. We can brainstorm there and see if we can come up with
something nice for this.


On 28 September 2017 at 17:54, Ricardo Oliveira <> wrote:

> I'm trying to design a distributed tracing system for Erlang processes
> following the opentracing <http://opentracing.io> standard. For the
> purpose, I'm supporting myself in otter
> <https://github.com/Bluehouse-Technology/otter> for generating and
> emitting traces, and jaeger <http://jaeger.readthedocs.io/en/latest/> for
> collecting, querying and storing them.. The question for which I can't
> figure out a clear answer is how should I pass the trace payload between
> processes. The first idea that comes to me is to put the trace information
> in the all the messages passed between processes, and with that define a
> sort of message protocol that all messages would have to `extend`. This was
> the approach Uber used to solve this problem, with the implementation of
> TChannel <https://github.com/uber/tchannel>. This would be a bit awkward
> to implement in Erlang, as we would have to `force` all messages exchanged
> between processes to include this payload, and I don't know how I could do
> this properly. Do you have a way of doing this ?
> Also , would you see a better (simpler) way of doing this in Erlang, by
> taking advantage of the ERTS and OTP, for example, like seq_trace
> <http://erlang.org/doc/man/seq_trace.html> is passing `implicitly` the
> trace_token in the messages sent between the processes.
> Thank you,
> Ricardo Oliveira
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