A Joeish Erlang distribution (long)

Francesco Cesarini <>
Wed Jan 29 10:50:56 CET 2003

> Interesting choice of SW developers there. 

You need many (very many) hands and feet to add up the years of Erlang 
experience you guys have among you, so it was not an accidental pick. 
The discussion was about people evaluating Erlang and using it in small 
to medium projects. Jocke says people get scared of the Erlang/OTP 
design principles. I say it is a necessary hurdle for them to see how to 
design and reason when building their programs, and to unleash Erlang's 
full potential.

> As a matter of fact, if
> Jocke, Joe and I were to write something BIG together, we probably
> wouldn't use the the "OTP design principles" or whatever they are called.

You would not divide the processes into behaviors? You would not place 
your behaviors in supervision trees? You would not encapsulate your 
supervision trees in applications? You would not glue together your 
applications and start them using a boot file? If you use the generic 
behaviors or not, that is another story The OTP design principles are 
something beginners *should* start doing as soon as they are confident 
with Erlang, as it is the natural step towards writing their own.

If you prefer to avoid the systools, or implement your own application 
controller as the existing one lacks many features, fine. If you stay 
away from the release handler, you are not alone (I avoid it myself 
whenever possible). And if you use your own error logging mechanism, 
that makes two of us. But I have a hard time following how you can not 
build a large coherent system without using the theory behind the 
Erlang/OTP design principles as it is described in the documentation 
manuals or in the OTP course material we have been using on thousands of 
people for almost 8 years. I would be very careful to recommending 
people evaluating Erlang or building their first product to bypass the 
principles, as that is what makes Erlang even more powerful than what it 
already is.

> Not me anyway, I don't like them (because I don't understand them)

I am sure we can invite you when we give a course near you ;-)


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