A Joeish Erlang distribution (long)

Joe Armstrong <>
Mon Jan 27 15:40:59 CET 2003

> I look forward to hearing Joe's comments (and everybody else's as well, of course!). 

  Yes -  this is  all very  flattering - and  I really  appreciate the
attempt to find more things for me  to do :-) - for some reason people
seem to  think I  can't think  of things to  do so  they come  up with
helpful suggests for things I might like to do ..

  My wife, for  example, thinks that if I haven't  got anything else to
do than "clicking  away on that computer" I  could do something useful
like washing the cat or feeding the dishes ... sigh

  On reflection I'm against this - why?  - The Erlang OTP release is a
very high quality release - I  wouldn't like people to think that there
were several different Erlang's and have to put them in the position of
having to choose "which is the better"  of these - as far as new users
are concerned  there should be only  ONE Erlang and  that's the Erlang
that you get from the OTP people.

  I would, however, like to see a much smaller core release.

  In  order  to  compile up  the  OTP  release  I  need to  have  Java
installed, and I need to compile  up loads of things that I will never

  When I get and build Erlang I  have to wait a longish time while all
the  corba and  ASN.1 and  XYZ stuff  is compiled.   Now cobra  is, no
doubt, absolutely splendid - but I  have never ever used it nor have I
had the  slightest desire to  use it, so  as far as I'm  concerned, it
might as well  not clutter up my disk  - if I want it I'll  go and get

  Even  worse, sometimes  an  error occurring  when  compiling up  some
application that I have zero interest in - breaks the build process.

  People have  said to  me "Erlang  is very big"  the download  is XXX
MBytes -  but this  is because of  the large  number of apps  that are
bundled into the main tarball.

  The  next  small  step  for  mankind  would  be  to  split  off  the
applications from the core and distribute them separately.

  Core Erlang should be just the compiler and the essential run-time -
nothing else - I think this would make the system easier to understand
and manage.

  I'd also like  to see many more "stand  alone applications" that are
written  using only  the  core -  these  would be  programs that  "did
something useful" - a lot of the contributions are "libraries that you
can use to build fun things" rather than "fun things" - yaws and wings
are outstanding examples of these.



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