Erlang is getting too big

Sean Hinde sean.hinde@REDACTED
Mon Oct 13 20:49:55 CEST 2003

On Monday, October 13, 2003, at 07:22  pm, Vance Shipley wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 13, 2003 at 02:38:36PM +0200, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> }
> }    I think it would greatly improve things if we could release the
> }  basic language stuff, OTP and the applications separately - so that 
> the"
> }  distinctions become clearer.
> I could't agree more.  The fact that if one were to want to take Erlang
> for a test drive that they would find themselves building things with
> Java, CORBA, SNMP, etc. is exactly what Sean is warning about.

Err, actually it isn't. This is what Joe is worrying about. I am more 
concerned about there being so much syntax - wayyy before getting as 
far as libraries.

> I think it is important to understand what OTP is (and isn't).  This is
> difficult for people new to the environment as it is because there are
> no clear lines.  Having an erlang:spawn and a proc_lib:spawn is just
> confusing when you're just trying to learn the language.  A core
> language distribution would make things much clearer.

But then what would distinguish it from the other 500 languages out 
there? This needs a book, or a lightweight way into OTP, not discarding 

> As to the addition of new features I wouldn't want to think that we
> were going to stagnate.  What of try/cond which have been on the way
> for a long time?  I'd like to see them added.

To join begin ... end, which I've never figured out the point of? What 
was that about Perl - a hundred different ways to achieve the same 
thing? If try/cond is a true revolution in clarity and "so obvious it 
must be correct" programming, and can replace a couple of other 
structures then yes, but otherwise no.

I don't want to see Erlang stagnate at all. I just think we are loading 
it down so much it is starting to sink under its own weight.


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