So I’ve been exploring Elixir/Erlang/OTP and totally love the syntaxes, concepts and theory models involving the actor model (thank you community, Carl Hewitt, Joe, Jose, et cetera). At this point I’m messing with GenServers and am seeking some guidance on a design pattern (this is pure hobby fun).
Say I have a ‘main’ GenServer which receives a call to find some word in multiple files, it distributes this silly task to a few workers (e.g. one per cpu, and they are also GenServers) that on their turn invoke a cast on a GenServer that does the actual searching.
Now imagine this crazy algorithm is in a competition with its fellow workers and as soon as one worker has found the word the other workers should stop(restart?) and start looking for the next word. How would I implement this as the mailbox of each process wont be read until the running task is finished. So the worker won’t cancel its, now, redundant search (poor worker ).
I thought of calling Process.exit on the actual worker once the parent receives a new instruction from the main GenServer, is this the way to go? Does ‘killing’ and starting a new GenServer include a lot of overhead or is this still considered ‘lightweight’ ?
Thanks for your insights!
Perhaps the snippet I describe is above considered an anti pattern and I should delve into supervisors more… anyway this already has been an interesting learning experience