technology from back to front

Erlang on Neo1973 cellphone

This evening, after fighting bitbake (in the form of the capricious “insane.bbclass” class definition) for a good few hours, I managed to get Erlang version R11B-5 running on my new cellphone.

Running the interactive erlang shell on a cellphone is pretty cool. Erlang’s built-in clustering support works fine: I’ve successfully connected an erlang node on my pc to a node on the phone using the USB ethernet support the phone provides.

The base package compiles down to a bit less than 7MB, which is a bit large. The full suite of libraries are another 22MB or so. It’s certainly possible to fine-tune the packaging process to get a smaller distribution, but for now I’m happy developing against what I have.

Update: I’ve posted my changed build scripts to OpenEmbedded’s bug tracker at bug 3014. Here’s a direct link to the tarball, if anyone would like to try it themselves.

  1. Nice one. You really should get your Erlang tagged stuff onto planeterlang.

    I’m dying to get one of these phones, but I really want the built-in wifi one. NZ data costs are getting better but nothing like your neck of the woods.

    What was the baseline memory usage for the shell?

  2. beam shows 4964kB resident after starting erl at the command-line. The virtual image size is 9080kB, and the shared size is 1580kB.

  3. By comparison, the “Today” application has 10MB resident, 21ish MB virtual, and the dialer app has 8.5MB resident, 32ish MB total!

  4. Uh, of course, they have about 8MB of shared core each. Still.


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