Erlang Open Internet Platform

James Hague <>
Fri Feb 16 21:11:36 CET 2001


> 1) It solves a number of useful problems in an easy and time 
> saving way
> 
> 2) It is hyped hugely by some powerful player.
> 
> Java, Ada, C++ (SUN, DoD, AT&T) are examples of way 2.

I think C++ is a special case.  Its success was a combination of C already
being popular and there being much hype about OOP.  There were a number of
widely promoted languages with OOP features--most notably Borland's Object
Pascal, circa 1989--but not too surprisingly something compatible with C
took over.
 
> In this light, the "telecoms" background of Erlang works like a
> life-jacket made of lead. However we see that the number of hits
> on the Erlang.org site is steadily increasing. As more and more people
> find uses for Erlang in many different field, the lead in the 
> life-jacket is becoming significantly less heavy.

I agree, even to the point where I think Erlang is a top notch choice for
general purpose programming in many cases.  The slogan should be "Twice the
productivity, half the stress."  Heck, I'd just take the latter of those :)
The great increase in processor speed and memory capacity is helping as
well.  When I first ran across the functional language Hope in 1985, I
remember thinking "This is cool, but you sure can't do much in 640K."  Now I
have no idea what to do with all the speed of a 300MHz Pentium II, and
that's pretty bottom of the line as far as current consumer machines go.
Makes me wonder how things look from the perspective of someone who was
using Erlang back when Ericsson was loading up on the ~20MHz Sun
workstations (which is what I had at EXU in 1993).

James



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