The history of the Erlang virtual machine

By Erlang Central | Published: June 7, 2010

There have been relatively few Erlang implementations and today there is really only one widely used Erlang VM, the BEAM. This talk will describe the history of the BEAM and other Erlang implementations that have been done, the differences between them and how they have performed. It will also discuss some influencing factors which need to be considered when implementing Erlang.

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  • Joe Armstrong

    Father of Erlang
    Ericsson AB

    Joe Armstrong is one of the inventors of Erlang. When at the Ericsson computer science lab in 1986, he was part of the team who designed and implemented the first version of Erlang. He has written several Erlang books including Programming Erlang Software for a Concurrent World. Joe held the first ever Erlang course and has taught Erlang to hundreds of programmers and held many lectures and keynotes describing the technology.

    Joe has a PhD in computer science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden and is an expert in the construction of fault tolerant systems. Joe was the chief software architect of the project which produced the Erlang OTP system. He has worked as an entrepreneurin one of the first Erlang startups (Bluetail) and has worked for 30 years in industry and research.

    Joe Armstrong
  • Robert Virding

    Inventor of Erlang and Bluetail co-founder

    Robert Virding worked at the Ericsson Computer Science Laboratory and was one of the initial Erlang design group. He has 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 now works for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in a modelling and simulation group where he mainly works with computer games. He contributes to the Erlang community in his spare times and has written a number of books and articles on Erlang.

    Robert Virding

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