[erlang-questions] Making erlang more realtime?

Dmytro Lytovchenko dmytro.lytovchenko@REDACTED
Thu Mar 2 21:26:59 CET 2017

Making it "more realtime" has little sense, as it is not realtime platform
and never was, and never intended to be.

A few points to consider.
1. Erlang is not a realtime platform, i.e. it does not give you
millisecond/microsecond guarantees. It is soft realtime, which guarantees
that your code will eventually  and periodically get CPU time with some +/-
100 ms precision depending on the current load.

2. If you want such millisecond precision you could write the critical
decoding/feeding part in native code with an appropriate tool such as
C/C++/Rust/Ocaml/Java/C# etc while Erlang will do the rest of the
management and orchestration in your system.

3. One more way would be to let Erlang decode video ahead of time, so that
you have few frames ready and cached for such a hiccup moment. Then even if
some frame is late, there is always another frame ready to cover for it.
Then let video player smooth the hiccups. I think streaming services do
this at the cost of significant caching ahead.

2017-03-02 21:17 GMT+01:00 Vans S <vans_163@REDACTED>:

> I currently need to stream 60 frames per second of video and I made a
> simple test case using erlang.
> I have 1 gen_server doing a erlang:send_after every 17ms, when the
> handle_info procs it calls
> os:perf_counter(1000) then compares the last time to the current, if the
> difference is > 20,
> print to console.
> Iv noticed that about every 2-3 seconds, the send_after arrives around in
> 20-23ms, this is not
> respecting the millisecond realtime nature that I thought Erlang can
> provide.
> Is there any VM arguments that could be passed to increase the realtime
> properties or other
> things that can be done?
> The testcase is just a naked rebar app with 1 gen_server not doing
> anything else.
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