New to Earlang

Kent Boortz <>
Tue Nov 26 01:35:50 CET 2002


I'm one of the Erlang/OTP developers at Ericsson so this is not an
"user" opinion.

> Operative System
> Are Erlang and Mnesia supposed to be as stable in Windows as they are
> supposed to be in Unix? In other words, do you know about anyone who is
> using Windows for a commercial Erlang implementations?

We run daily build and test on Unix and Windows using the same test suites.
The tests range from small tests of functions to tests of larger parts
of the Erlang/OTP platform.

> Support
> >From your experience, should all the available documentation, examples,
> language references, etc., together with this open source mailing list,
> be "enough" for a start up, or should I try to arrange some kind of
> commercial support? Everything seems to be well documented, proved, and
> tested, and I know that sometimes you obtain much faster answers from an
> "open source mailing list" than from a commercial support service.

The advantage, in my opinion, with commercial support is

  - Your operating system and setup will get additional focus for
    corrections and for the daily build and test. We try to test all
    sorts of combinations of OTP releases, hardware and operating
    systems but the number of combinations makes it impossible to
    cover them all. We provide all corrections to the OpenSource
    releases but it is of course most important to us that paying
    customers feel they get corrections fast and that we in our
    testing try to find problems before they do.

  - You can request patches to correct problems you have found.

  - You get support directly from the developers of the product. We
    don't have a large slow organization, we are a small devoted team
    of developers.

  - You give us money to continue to support Erlang/OTP. Erlang/OTP
    will never die because of its excellent OpenSource community but
    having a team spend all day improving Erlang/OTP doesn't hurt ;-)

There are lots of documentation for Erlang/OTP but I get a feeling that
it lacks some direction in how to really design for and use Erlang/OTP.
The result is that the full potential in the platform is not used.
I may be wrong, but I think this is a bit of a problem. To my knowledge
Ericsson don't give courses any longer but I think there are two that
could help but not being a "user" myself again I may be wrong

   "Designing for and programming with Erlang/OTP"

      Supervision, start, restart, nodes, configuration, generic
      servers and mnesia. Resource locking and global names. Error
      recovery. Tools and basic debugging. How to design for OTP and
      how to avoid traps.  How to design and write code that could be
      upgraded at runtime.  How to write multinode solutions with
      failover (I want to know ;-).  Difference between the
      development system and a target system and how to create a
      target system.

   "Debugging, tuning and maintaining systems built using Erlang/OTP"

      Inspect a running system like tracing, testing, tuning, memory,
      performance. More on mnesia like startup, how to recover from
      nodes with tables being out of sync. Disk logging. More on how
      to upgrade a running system. Special OS considerations (when and
      why enable more threads for I/O, memory handling, process
      communication, Windows services etc). Garbage collection and
      other internal details of the emulator that may help tracking
      down problems. DNS and other IP configuration. Overview of node
      administration using HTTP, SNMP or Corba, i.e. how to connect
      node data to maintenance interfaces.

kent



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