Erlang vs Linux

James Hague <>
Wed Feb 26 16:30:17 CET 2003


>Has anyone here seen an analysis
>explaning why and how Linux
>came to what it is;

I've seen the "official" explanations of this over and over again, but I
think it's simpler than that.  In 1991, Windows, MS-DOS, and MacOS (which
wasn't event called MacOS back then), had all far outgrown their initial
designs.  Remember, none of these had any kind of memory protection or truly
pre-emptive multitasking back then, and were essentially home computers
masquerading as workstations.  Linux was a rewind to the days of big UNIX,
and both the free aspect and roughly UNIX compatible aspect gave it a boost
over oddities like OS/2.

Erlang is different, in that there's no "early 1970s Erlang" to compare it
with, so it's generally unfamiliar.  There are also a *lot* more programming
languages in use now than there have have been.  There are fervent
communities surrounding Smalltalk, Lisp, Python, Ruby, Pike, ML, Haskell,
REBOL, Clean, Beta, you name it.

It's becoming more obvious that people are slowly catching on to the
benefits of high levels of concurrency, but I suspect this is going to be
addressed first at the operating system level.  I wouldn't be at all
surprised to see a future version of Linux of Windows containing much
lighter weight threads than they currently do.

James



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