Mon Jan 13 00:36:20 CET 2003
Daniel Dudley writes:
> Thanks for your imput, lads. I think I'll conclude that
> Erlang's implementation of records is a mess (a wart on
> Erlang's bottom as Matthias puts it) and thus best avoided.
> They must be a big embarrassment to Erlang. In fact, I
> should think it would be a great service to the community
> if records (in their current form) were phased out as soon
> as possible. Call it an experiment that went horribly wrong.
An embarrassment, yes, but not a huge one. Nor has the experiment had
horrible effects beyond a bit of ugly code and a few gotchas.
If you're out to have fun by trying something new, I'll be so bold as
to recommend temporarily accepting the lack of a complex type system
and moving on to some of the things which are unique to
Erlang. Specifically: the medium-grained & explicit concurrency, a
neat message passing model, painless distribution, hot code loading
and the 'kill-the-process' approach to handling errors.
Distribution and code loading create some interesting problems which
make a more ambitious type system rather more interesting than they'd
Aside: I was given a copy of the Erlang book and told to "learn it" when
I started work for Ericsson in Melbourne a few years ago. I
noticed that one of the authors' surnames was "Wikström" and
assumed it was the same Wikström behind ML.
I soon noticed that Erlang seemed to lack a type system and
wondered what on earth had happened to Wikström---what made
him go from designing a language with a very nice, strict
type system to designing a language where types have very
Eventually, I met the Wikström fellow and discovered that he
wasn't the same Wikström of ML fame. But by then I wasn't
interested in type systems any longer anyway :-)
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