Erlang killer app?,

Steven H. Rogers, Ph.D. <>
Wed Jul 24 03:38:06 CEST 2002

Shawn Pearce wrote:


> I'm having a hard enough time getting coworkers to learn shell scripting,
> let alone a new-to-them language like Erlang.
> Now a slightly off topic question:  Has anyone had success at getting
> Erlang (or any other isoteric-to-them language/environment) into an
> environment like I'm describing?

Well, I've had some success.

I introduced Java to my C shop when it was still considered esoteric.  I
silenced a complaint about using a non-standard language by countering that
if I'd really wanted to be non standard, I'd be using Objective-C.  Java
still isn't widely used in my group, though it now is in the rest of the

I proposed Python as the scripting language for a piece of test 
equipment and it was accepted over Perl, Tcl, and a home grown version 
of Tiny C.  I intended it to be used by mostly "non-programmer" 
engineers to write test scripts, but the systems programmers liked it 
enough to use it for much of their work, with C extensions for hardware 

So, in my experience, you can be successful if you present a good case. 
  Now, I have a distributed control application that seems nearly ideal 
for Erlang, but I don't whether I should try to introduce "Yet Another 
Programming Language".  We're spread pretty thin and no matter how good 
an "esoteric language" may be for a particular application, there is 
extra overhead involved with using it.

"A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is 
not worth knowing." - Alan Perlis

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