[erlang-questions] Message Passing over the 'Net

Matthew Williamson dawsdesign@REDACTED
Wed Aug 13 16:54:33 CEST 2008

I believe the dime summary would be: it is not safe.

Distributed erlang should be used only in a LAN environment because it goes
over plaintext. The way around it is VPN, but that doesn't sound suitable
for your case.

Something close it would be to use gen_tcp and send messages to the client's
local client server. Logically, something like: send message to local broker
(gen_server using gen_tcp) that has established tcp connection with server
broker (gen_server using gen_tcp), local broker transmits serialized erlang
term over internet (can do encryption here), server broker receives message
and passes to gen_server which will process the request and use the server
broker to reply.

This is all indeed in Joe's book, with further detail.

2008/8/13 David Cabana <drcabana@REDACTED>

If I recall correctly, Joe's book has an extended example concerning a chat
> system which touches on sending messages across the internet, and the
> associated security issues.
> On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 9:02 AM, Timothy Baldridge <tbaldridge@REDACTED>wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> I'm a recent convert to Erlang. I'm still reading up a bit on the
>> language, then I plan on trying out some basic "Hello World" apps
>> before diving into a more complex program.
>> I have a few questions about Erlang's message passing. I understand
>> the basic idea behind message passing in Erlang, and how processes can
>> be distributed to other physical machines. Is there a way to pass
>> messages like this across a rather unsafe medium like the Internet?
>> For instance, I'd like to write a client/server app where users can
>> login to the main server over the Internet. Both ends of the program
>> will be in Erlang. Now I know I could write marshaling routines to
>> pack and unpack the data on either end, and shove the packaged data
>> over TCP/IP, but it would be much nicer if Erlang had a way that was
>> as simple as PID ! message.
>> And secondly, if the above is possible, is it possible to encrypt the
>> communication by piping it through a SSL connection? I'm sure there
>> has to be something like this.
>> Thanks for the help, as a big fan of the Python language, let me say
>> that Erlang's feature set was what made me decide to switch. Python
>> has many bottlenecks, and Erlang, while different, takes care of most
>> of these issues.
>> Thanks,
>> Timothy
>> --
>> Two wrights don't make a rong, they make an airplane. Or bicycles.
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