Implementing languages on the Erlang VM

By Erlang Central | Published: March 26, 2012

When creating a new language, either a DSL (Domain Specific Language) or a more general purpose one, it can be a great help to build on top of an existing language or VM. This can give you “for free” many of the properties and existing libraries of that system. However, it can also limit you to the properties of the base system thereby restricting your language. This talk will describe building languages on the Erlang VM and how the features of Erlang affect the properties of these languages. It will also look at some of the tools available for Erlang for implementing new languages.
Talk objectives: Describe some of the features/limitations of Erlang which can affect languages built on top of it. Describe some of the tools available to language designers/implementers in Erlang. Discuss various ways of implementing language features in Erlang.
Target audience: Erlang programmers who wish to implement other languages on top of the Erlang VM.
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  • Robert Virding

    Co-inventor of Erlang, Principal Language Expert @ Erlang Solutions
    Erlang Solutions

    Robert Virding recently joined Erlang Solutions Ltd as Principal Language Expert. While at Ericsson AB, Robert Virding was one of the original members of the Ericsson Computer Science Lab, and co-inventor of the Erlang language. He took part in the original system design and contributed much of the original libraries, as well as to the current compiler. While at the lab he also did a lot of work on the implementation of logic and functional languages and on garbage collection. He has also worked as an entrepreneur and was one of the co-founders of one of the first Erlang startups (Bluetail). Robert Virding also worked a number of years at the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) Modelling and Simulations Group. He co-authored the first book (Prentice-Hall) on Erlang, and is regularly invited to teach and present throughout the world.

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    Robert Virding

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