This section deals with Erlang data types and pattern matching. Functions, modules, and BIFs are discussed. Before the exercises, the Erlang shell, useful shell commands as well as Emacs and its Erlang mode are introduced.
The Sequential Programming section comprehends conditional evaluations, guards and scope of variables. It then introduces recursion, with a special emphasis on different recursive patterns, tail recursion, and space saving optimizations. Before the exercises, libraries and their manual pages, possible run time errors and the debugger are demonstrated.
This section describes the creation of processes and their life span. It looks at sending and receiving messages, selective reception, and passing data in the messages. It continues with the various uses of time outs and registering processes, and terminates by showing the generic process code structure. Before the exercises, a demonstration of the Process Manager tool is given.
Process Error Handling
This section introduces the simple but powerful error handling mechanisms in processes. It looks at process links, exit signals and their propagation semantics. How robust systems are built in Erlang are discussed, and an example from the Process Design Patterns section is re-implemented, making it robust.
Francesco Cesarini is the founder and Technical Director of Erlang Training and Consulting. He is also a co-author of Erlang Programming, a book published by O’Reilly Media. He started his career as an intern at Ericsson’s computer science lab, the birth place of Erlang, and has used the language on a daily basis for the last 15 years. He has worked with flagship Erlang projects both within and outside of Ericsson, including the R1 release of the OTP middleware and the AXD301 Switch. He has taught Erlang/OTP to hundreds of professionals and undergraduate students alike.
Soon after Erlang was released as Open Source, he founded Erlang Training and Consulting. With offices in the UK, Sweden, Poland (and soon the US), they have become the world leaders in Erlang based consulting, contracting, support, training and systems development. Their client base is spread on five continents and ranges from small start-ups to blue chip companies. In his role as Technical Director, he is currently leading the research, development and consulting teams.
He is active in the Erlang community not only through regularly talks, seminars and tutorials at conferences worldwide, but also through his involvement in international research projects. He organises local Erlang user groups and with the help of his colleagues and runs the trapexit.org Erlang community website.
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