Various (and almost completely unrelated) questions and opinions

Chris Pressey <>
Mon Feb 12 07:58:58 CET 2001


Thanks to everybody for your help; in the open-source spirit I'd like to
give something back to the Erlang community.

I've written some little Erlang modules in the course of learning
Erlang, and they can be found at http://www.catseye.mb.ca/erlang/  
They're nothing special, since there are already plenty of good examples
of Erlang code out there, and none of these modules are suitable for any
particular worthwhile application (except maybe Turtle Erlang?)

If you happen to have a look at any of them, I'd be curious to know.
Have I made any flagrant violations of coding style, convention etc? 
(Don't bother mentioning that I should have used yecc for VALGOL - I
intentionally did it the hard way to see what it would be like.)

Are there any namespace issues?  Am I safe distributing these modules as
modules, or should I wrap them into applications for more insurance?

On general topics, are there any testimonials to the suitability of
Erlang's Inets package as a web server outside of an embedded
environment - for a real web site (with low-to-moderate traffic)?

Are there any noteworthy Erlang projects outside of Erlang's assumed
application domain?  Specifically, I'm thinking of projects like
retail accounting and online games like MUDs.

On programming topics, is there any way (using the digraph module) to
find a vertex (or edge) in a graph given its label (short of a linear
search through the list that is returned by vertices())?  (Using such
a function would make Wumpus much cleaner.)

Semicolons and commas would be nicer if extraneous ones were allowed,
however I see now why it is more problematic to do so here, where
semicolons and commas have very different semantics from each other. 
(Compare to Perl or C, where ; and , have almost the same semantics.)

Speaking of which, if comma roughly means "and" and semicolon roughly
means "or" then the following would make sense to me but is not
considered legal by the compiler:

  fib(1; 2) -> 1; fib(N) when N > 2 -> fib(N-1) + fib(N-2).

That may be too risque as well.  Partly what I'd like to see is a sort
of "Dangerous Erlang" which trades off some of the safety and
predictability for flexibility and expressivity.  Is there any other
programming language out there which claims to be a descendant of
Erlang, or lists Erlang as one of its influences?  (Barring anything
that claims it's a direct "subset" or "superset" or "extended subset" of
Erlang)

Whew!  Sorry if that's too many questions at once.  Thanks in advance
for any help.

_chris

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