Erlang language issues

Bengt Kleberg <>
Fri Apr 19 07:50:20 CEST 2002

> X-Authentication-Warning: richardc owned process doing -bs
> Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 18:18:43 +0200 (MET DST)
> From: Richard Carlsson <>


> It's the source level backwards compatibility that's the problem. The
> not entirely unimportant category called "customers" do not want to
> change a single thing in their source code unless it is a bug - and
> preferably not even recompile anything. They won't switch to a new
> version of the compiler if that means new bugs in old code.

i presume that you mean deprecated constructs when you write new bugs.
any new compiler might genereate genuinly new bugs in the binary/beam
a new compiler that issues a warning, and a (correct) suggestion on how
to re-write the expression, is still my suggestion for source code.
binary/beam backwards compatibility is much more important (too me).

> There are several small things that I'd personally like to modify in the
> Erlang semantics, but it seems like a completely impossible thing to do.
> Still, maybe if a "New Erlang" was released, with a compiler that could
> be given a backwards-compatibility flag... or is that a pipe dream?

the backwards-compatibility-flag is a good idea. one could even keep an
old, unchanging, version of the compiler in the distribution that was
started in the presence of such a flag. and document the fact that
backwards compatibility means including the old bugs :-)


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