Why Erlang is the best concurrent language available

James Hague <>
Thu Jan 23 23:19:17 CET 2003

Joe Armstrong wrote:
> I never said "write dumb code" - to me beautiful code
> is clear, concise and does *exactly* what it is
> supposed to and *nothing* else with a minuimum of
> fuss. It usually ends up being faster than ugly
> code - that's because God likes your code if it's
> beautiful.

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that you said to write dumb code--my apologies
for that--but I think the typical reaction to what you consider "beautiful"
code, at least from many programmers, is that it's horribly inefficient.  If
you really stop and think about what's going on in some Erlang programs,
like "I build up this list backward, then I reverse it at the end, creating
an entirely new copy of the list," then it *sounds* pretty appalling.  But
that reaction is out of context.  When your frame of reference involves
hundreds of millions or billions of cycles per second, with multiple machine
instructions executing per cycle, well, that's the stuff of fairy tales.
It's all so meaningless.  I say to go ahead and make use of all that
nonsense to make things wonderful and understandable, not an intangible
savings of thousands of cycles here and there.



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