[erlang-questions] ICU NIFs for Erlang

Michael Uvarov freeakk@REDACTED
Wed Nov 2 17:31:06 CET 2011

There are these kind of libraries in different languages. For example:
It is useful for people, who use it in other programming languages and
knows what he want to find.
It is standard library for client-side programming, but there are cases,
when it can be useful on server-side.
There was a question, why realization of ICU's algorithms will be slow in
pure Erlang (https://github.com/freeakk/ux):
- ICU's allocates memory in the rare cases.
- Erlang is slower with measuring by timer:tc, but there is
invisible garbage collection in ux also.
- ICU uses the global data-store, Erlang can use only ETS for this type of

So, even if to recode from any form of the string representation in Erlang
to UTF-16, ICU will be faster.
But NIFs can be unstable, can pause VM thread.

How to get ICU?
Old operation systems have old versions of ICU. For example, Ubuntu 10.10
has ICU version 4.2. Minimal compiled size of ICU is 16Mb, if you want to
put it in distrib.
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