[erlang-questions] Is there a good source for documentation on BEAM?

Thomas Lindgren thomasl_erlang@REDACTED
Mon May 28 17:25:54 CEST 2012

----- Original Message -----
> From: Richard O'Keefe <ok@REDACTED>
> To: Thomas Lindgren <thomasl_erlang@REDACTED>
> Cc: Michael Turner <michael.eugene.turner@REDACTED>; "erlang-questions@REDACTED" <erlang-questions@REDACTED>
> Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 8:10 AM
> Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Is there a good source for documentation on BEAM?
>( 1) We were told that BEAM documentation isn't needed because
>     there are other Erlang implementations.
> (2) I ask whether any of those other implementations ever kept
>     up with The Real Thing.  (By the way, as far as I know,
>     none of them ever supported bit syntax, and my recent
>     attempt to install GERL failed miserably.)
> (3) Suddenly we are told that the abandoning of those other
>     things just *proves* that we don't need BEAM documentation.
> ?

It looks like this discussion has terminated, and I think I've made whatever points I wanted to be made so I'll leave it at that. But since this seemed to be unclear, let me recapitulate:

BEAM docs are not needed to produce a second source implementation, as shown by several examples. (1) 

Also, there has so far been little practical interest shown by Erlang users in such a second source. So implementation efforts may be in vain. (3) 

My personal view, at least, is that most of the difficulty in "keeping up with The Real Thing", Erlang/OTP, would be not in reproducing BEAM but in writing a fully compatible implementation tracking the rest of the runtime, ERTS. (2)

So, is there a _practical_ case for doing these docs? In particular, will the effort result in useful external contributions that outweigh time spent? Not at all clear to me. 

Hope it helps.

Best regards,

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