Erlang as "assembler"

Vlad Dumitrescu vlad.dumitrescu@REDACTED
Tue Aug 3 22:07:01 CEST 1999

> > How does the thought of
> > using Erlang as a "assembler" language, most like Lisp (and C) are for
> > so many other higher-level languages, sound? Is it an heresy? hope
> > not...
> I'm not sure what you're getting at.  You'd like to compile other
> languages into Erlang?

Something like that, yes. Not any language, but something more 
like a kind of "Erlang++". Let me explain by taking an example: 
constraint programming. One can express all constraints and rules 
in Erlang, but if an application uses a lot of it, it might be easier to 
use and debug if one could extend Erlang, and use a preprocessor 
to convert the source into 'clean' Erlang. 

One other example might have been the list comprehensions: if the 
language did not provide them, someone might use a preprocessor 
to 'compile' them into code. 

In the latter case, including that into the language is good because 
it is a general improvement and it's also faster than using hand-
coded routines. But when the change is specific, of limited use, I 
think it makes little sense to include it into the language.

> Erlang is the most wonderfully concise and easy to use language I've had
> the pleasure of programming in.  

I completely agree with you!! 

My question was in fact addressed to the creators of Erlang. I 
know that it might be a touchy question to (more or less) build a 
language on top of another - and I don't want to get on their black 
list! ;-) So I ask first, to find out their thoughts.

note: it is constraint programming that I would like to be able to 
express in a cleaner way.


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