Erlang is getting too big

Vlad Dumitrescu vlad_dumitrescu@REDACTED
Mon Oct 13 12:56:28 CEST 2003

> There are huge problems out in the real world getting companies (or
> even other departments) to adopt Erlang. One of the arguments in favour
> of Erlang has been that it is a "small" language so the overhead of
> learning it and, vastly more important, supporting the applications
> written in it is small.
> This is no longer the case, and from what I see on the mailing list and
> in conferences there is a strong push towards adding more obfuscation
> to an already large and (for C++ types) confusing language.
> Please let us stop this profligate adding of new features otherwise we
> will kill the takeup of Erlang stone dead.

As I feel hit by that ;-) I am compelled to answer.

My goal would be to make Erlang _better_, which in some cases might mean
"'bigger', but 'easier'" or "'bigger', but 'faster to develop in'". It's not
"add features just for the fun of it".

I am very much aware about the situation Erlang is in, being both commercial and
open-sourced, and I am certain that it's very difficult to keep the balance.
Well, not really - I suppose if there's a real conflict, the paying customers
will always win. Discussing about enhancements can't hurt, I think, just because
the OTP team is (and needs to be!) quite conservative when it comes to new

On the other hand, saying "let's stop any development of the language, it's good
enough as it is" is in my humble opinion at least as bad as bloating Erlang just
for the sake of it.

If Erlang will gain terrain in the commercial area, then it will become harder
and harder to change anything, because there will be many more paying customers.
If we see something that can be improved, the proper timing to do it is as soon
as possible.

Maybe the experimental stuff should be moved to a parallel development branch,
as it was already proposed before? It doesn't feel good about saying that...

Just some 2 cents rambling :-)

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