A Unified Semantics for Future Erlang
Paper in proceedings, 2010

The formal semantics of Erlang is a bit too complicated to be easily understandable. Much of this complication stems from the desire to accurately model the current implementations (Erlang/OTP R11-R14), which include features (and optimizations) developed during more than two decades. The result is a two-tier semantics where systems, and in particular messages, behave differently in a local and a distributed setting. With the introduction of multi-core hardware, multiple run-queues and efficient SMP support, the boundary between local and distributed is diffuse and should ultimately be removed. In this paper we develop a new, much cleaner semantics, for such future implementations of Erlang. We hope that this paper can stimulate some much needed debate regarding a number of poorly understood features of current and future implementations of Erlang.




Hans Svensson

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Lars-Åke Fredlund

Clara Benac Earle

Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGPLAN workshop on ERLANG


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