Resistance to Erlang

Roger Price rprice@REDACTED
Tue Apr 12 12:12:42 CEST 2005

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Pascal Brisset wrote:

> Another difference is that the pi-calculus allows dynamic creation
> of communication channels. Processes can send *and receive* on any
> channel they know, which is an implementor's nightmare. For most
> practical purposes, make_ref() and selective receive patterns
> provide the same functionality in Erlang.

I implemented a pi-calculus language system much like Pierce and Turner's
Pict, and similar to Vasconcelos' TyCO, using Erlang for the run-time.  I
used the correspondance:

      Pi calculus   |     Erlang
    input process   |   explicit fun
    output process  |   argument to function
       path         |   Erlang process

> Having receive queues as first-class values could be interesting,
> through.

Not only interesting, but essential. Writing programs in the pi-calculus
is complex; somewhat like horizontal microcode.  Its hard to debug.  The
question "Is there a high-level language equivalent?" soon arises, and it
seems to me that the answer is "Yes, Erlang", provided one uses the
correspondance above.


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