Fun with Erlang (was Re: Stand Alone Erlang for Windows. yetagain)

Chris Pressey <>
Fri Mar 16 01:56:45 CET 2001

Ulf Wiger wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Mar 2001, Chris Pressey wrote:
> >So my question to the list is if anyone knows of any other games or
> >loosely fun-related projects in Erlang.
> I don't know -- would the AXD 301 ATM switch count?
> I've had great fun here.  (:

Unfortunately civilization has not yet advanced that far :-)

I realize I'm kind of grasping at straws here.  It's hard to contribute
to a language project which is already pretty darn near ideal.  :-)

I guess I'm trying to fight the adoption barrier.  I think there are
good reasons to try to go "outside the realm of Erlang" as James
mentioned.  Consider uninformed objections like:

"It would be a waste of my time to learn an obscure language hardly
anyone knows."

"Surely if it is used in an ATM switch it must not be suitable for any
other environment."

"It was developed by a company.  Companies don't really understand open
source software, so it must be some kind of trick."

"It was developed in a research lab.  Language researchers don't really
understand programming in the field, so it must be an academic

I don't believe in thoughtless advocacy, but I agree that becoming
fluent in any language requires investment.  So I feel that there might
be ways to influence programmer's choice of investment - at least, to
lessen their reluctance to invest in Erlang.

Address the first objection and the other three become less important. 
** You should use Erlang if you can get something out of it.  If you can
get something out of it, then learning Erlang was worth it and not a
waste of time. **  Then it doesn't matter quite as much where it's used,
or who made it.

If what you want to get out of it is prototyping an algorithm that you
will later use in something else entirely, then you still got something
out of Erlang.  If you use Erlang to teach yourself functional
programming, then you still get something out of Erlang.

Perhaps "Fun with Erlang" is an abstract and unrealistic way to try to
"add value" to the language, I agree.  But I'm not sure how else to
approach it... the rather ambiguous problem of trying to "jazz up" the
perception of Erlang.


"Ten short days ago all I could look forward to was a dead-end job as a
engineer.  Now I have a promising future and make really big Zorkmids."
Chris Pressey, Cat's Eye Technologies,
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