Visibility of Erlang

James Hague jhague@REDACTED
Tue Jun 29 03:54:26 CEST 1999

>Erlang is the most underappreciated technology I have ever seen.  I
>dove in about 2 months ago and have felt nothing but glee and awe
>throughout the learning experience.

I agree. Erlang is wonderful.

>Which brings me to my own personal moan: I believe ericsson is failing
>miserably in promoting the environment. 

I think Ericsson has done something wonderful to promote Erlang:  they've 
actually written real commercial applications using it.  This is rarely 
true of other newfangled languages you run across on the web.

Specifically trying to market a language to people doesn't work (well, 
okay, there's Java, so sometimes it works :)  You can shout all you want 
about the benefits of Erlang, but most programmers will shrug and say 
"It's not like C++" or "But that's not what I get paid to work with."

>The web site is stagnant, we
>have no idea how development is progressing, there is no public cvs
>mirror, development goes on behind closed doors, and nobody sends
>announcements to the open source community.

Some points:

1. Erlang isn't a typical open source system.  It wasn't released as open 
source until it had already been a mature product for a number of years.  
It doesn't need weekly updates.

2. As such, it is difficult for outsiders to jump in and make changes to 
the core Erlang system.  I'd argue that this isn't needed, as Ericsson is 
already actively maintaining the language and implementations.

The only real problem is that the current open source version is more 
than a bit behind Ericsson's internal releases.  I've been told that this 
will be rememdied later this year.

>Why hasn't erlang been
>trumpeted to slashdot, linux weekly news,, etc?

Actually, I sent something to slashdot about Erlang when it was released 
in February, but they didn't mention it.  To them, I suppose, they didn't 
see widespread interest in mentioning an oddball functional language used 
in embedded telephone switches released by a large Swedish corporation :) 
 I remember when I worked at Ericsson I had the darndest time explaining 
to people what I did during the day!


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