Erlang - Drivers


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Sometimes we want to run a foreign-language program inside the Erlang Runtime System. In this case, the program is written as a shared library that is dynamically linked into the Erlang runtime system. The linked-in driver appears to the programmer as a port program and obeys exactly the same protocol as for a port program.

Creating a Driver

Creating a linked-in driver is the most efficient way of interfacing foreign-language code with Erlang, but it is also the most dangerous. Any fatal error in the linked-in driver will crash the Erlang System.

Following is an example of a driver implementation in Erlang −

Example

-module(helloworld). 
-export([start/0, stop/0]). 
-export([twice/1, sum/2]). 

start() ->
   start("example1_drv" ). 
start(SharedLib) ->
   case erl_ddll:load_driver("." , SharedLib) of 
   ok -> ok; 
      {error, already_loaded} -> ok; 
      _ -> exit({error, could_not_load_driver}) 
   end, 
   
   spawn(fun() -> init(SharedLib) end). 

init(SharedLib) -> 
   register(example1_lid, self()), 
   Port = open_port({spawn, SharedLib}, []), 
   loop(Port). 

stop() -> 
   example1_lid ! stop. 

twice(X) -> call_port({twice, X}). 
sum(X,Y) -> call_port({sum, X, Y}). call_port(Msg) -> 
   example1_lid ! {call, self(), Msg}, receive 
      {example1_lid, Result} -> 
      Result 
   end. 

LINKED-IN DRIVERS 223 
loop(Port) -> 
receive 
   {call, Caller, Msg} -> 
   Port ! {self(), {command, encode(Msg)}}, receive 
   {Port, {data, Data}} ->
   Caller ! {example1_lid, decode(Data)} 
   end, 

loop(Port); 
stop -> Port ! 
   {self(), close}, 
   receive 
      {Port, closed} -> 
      exit(normal) 
   end; 
   
      {'EXIT', Port, Reason} -> 
      io:format("~p ~n" , [Reason]), 
      exit(port_terminated) 
   end. 

encode({twice, X}) -> [1, X]; 
encode({sum, X, Y}) -> [2, X, Y]. decode([Int]) -> Int.

Please note that working with drivers is extremely complex and care should be taken when working with drivers.



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