[erlang-questions] Erlang math libraries

Jason Dusek jsnx@REDACTED
Tue May 22 19:23:38 CEST 2007

I just joined the list, so I've had to follow most of this thread from
the web interface. The earlier post about interfacing Erlang with
Fortran seems to be spot on to me -- I'm a big fan of sharp tools
doing one job well. Why try to re-implement Fortran's many
achievements in Erlang?

I see a couple of 'patterns' for developing Fortran-backed Erlang applications:

  a) write single machine Fortran 'servers' that talk with an Erlang node
     through a socket connection. That way, you can take full advantage
     of Fortran's multi-processor support without having to deal with it's
     approach to concurrency/parallelization. The Erlang node on the
     server is responsible for restarting the Fortran app as needed, as
     well as feeding it work and data.

  b) write Fortran math libraries and work out a solid FFI for Fortran stuff.
     I personally think of this as the ugly way, although it does protect one
     from the data replication and complicated request translation that might
     result from (a).

I'm interested in developing distributed game engines with Erlang. As
things stand now, numerical performance in Erlang is not a strong
selling point -- nor is the FFI. However, (a) demands only a nice way
to send data -- presumably binary is okay -- from one process to
another. What does the list think? I don't have a lot of experience
with this stuff, so criticism is definitely appreciated.


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