QNX thoughts (off-topic)

Sean Hinde Sean.Hinde@REDACTED
Mon Sep 4 14:22:23 CEST 2000

> > I wonder if anyone knows if the threads and the IPC in QNX 
> (especially the upcoming Neutrino) are lightweight enough to 
> match the Erlang counterparts. If they do, then a very 
> interesting vision begins to appear: an Erlang process 
> becoming a QNX thread, with the messaging being passed 
> natively... the Erlang runtime becomes just another OS 
> extension, and the (Erlang-type) processes in the system need 
> not be in Erlang anymore, but in any language... the beauty 
> of the Erlang system, it's features encompassing the whole OS...

My initial thoughts were to do a QNX implementation of the distributed
erlang protocol using native QNET. This wouldn't be too hard - especially
given the work already done in R7 on tidying *_dist.erl up :-). It would
have the advantage of bringing all the clever comms resilience to a set of
erlang nodes.

Thinking past this I started to come across a few differences in approach
which don't map very well. QNX message passing is synchronous - the calling
thread blocks until a reply is received (with an optional timeout).  This
means there is no concept of a mailbox with pattern matched selective
receive, which potentially implies that QNX message passing is relegated to
moving messages between native erlang mailboxes.

I agree it sounds an extraordinarily powerful match and my thinking got
almost as carried away as yours! Erlang as the native language for QNX
indeed! And if Geoff is working on some part of it that is fantastic.


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