Meyer, OO and concurrency

Jouni Rynö <>
Thu Jul 14 18:55:30 CEST 2005

On Thu, 2005-07-14 at 17:54 +0200, Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) wrote:

> > To
> > ask people to partition the system using a completely new 
> > language they have
> > no experience with is not attractive enough. Everything you 
> > need to do in
> > erlang you also have to be able to do on the C++ side as 
> > well. If you could
> > make it so it could all be done in one language that would be 
> > attractive.
> It would be attractive - but I think it is unrealistic. 
> I use yacc/lex to write a parser/tokeniser, I write makefiles, shell scripts,
> These are all specialist languages which do specialist and well-defined jobs.
> Prolog is *wonderful* for data base queries and visual basic for a quick GUI.
> My biggest grumble is not "that I can't do everything in one language" but
> more that "All the nice tools don't work the same way on all OSs" and
> "interoperability between tools is non-existant".

> It seems to me that peoples dislike of using multiple languages in one application
> is rooted in the horrendous problems of interfacing things written in different languages together.
> This is a crazy situation. If language X is best for solving problem X then
> I should use X and no other language. Same for Y. If I need an X and Y in the same system then it often turns out that it is painfully difficult to connect X to Y.
> So difficult that, that which should have been written in X is re-written in Y,
> or vice. versa, whichever is the easier. Scandalous.
> Language designers must think about interoperability.

Somewhere there has been an opinion, that managers hate multiple
languages, as it's difficult to find programmes fluent in just the right
combination. Although a good programmer should be able to do reasonable
job in any language, I personally would hate to start using C++. And
last spring I had to program a little with Ada. I was constantly
fighting against the STRONG typing, trying to make shortcuts in C-style,
void pointers, unions and such. I just could not make my mind up to it.
Which is funny, as in OCCAM I found the need to make explicit number
casting in arithmetic a good think. But that's the one side of embedded

But I'm still all to the right language to right tool philosophy.
Somehow it just has been come to only C for low level, Tcl/Tk for
graphics and format manipulation. And Erlang for the rest.
Interoperability via ASCII files. Still to find good enough reason to go
for XML ... So maybe the managers are somewhat right.

Anyway, although there are nice languages and libraries to make graphics
(Tk, gtk+glade, python etc), I have even heard of people trying to do
graphics with Erlang and X :) And someone even spending good summer days
by making line plotting widget on top of ex11 instead of reading a good
book ... it still needs a bit of work :(



  Jouni Rynö                            mailto://
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