(Prolog + LISP + Erlang) with integration issues versus C++

Shawn Pearce <>
Mon Sep 5 20:27:52 CEST 2005


I have had a very similiar discussion with a client of mine last
year.  The product was an "embedded system" using pretty standard PC
components - so they had full control over what they were running on.
It was largely an I/O interface system, and it required pretty soft
time requirements (~100 ms response).  I figured Erlang on GNU/Linux
was perfect for this and would actually offer faster response than
was really required.

They were trying to port their mass of unmaintainable C++ code off
of QNX and onto Linux, so they could avoid the QNX licensing fees.
The C++ code was horrible - nearly impossible to port.  12 months
into the port my client decided to attempt a rewrite from the ground
up instead of finishing the port.

I had the development manager on board with using Erlang.  But we
couldn't get the president of the company or the chairman of the
board to agree.  The chairman is a rather famous hacker on the 'net
(he has written or maintained several popular open source packages
and is one of the founders of a rather well known software/hardware
firm).  The chairman insisted we use C++.  The other C++ developers
at the company agreed and insisted that the Boost++ library would
give us everything we needed (but that if it didn't then ACE would
provide everything else!).

I offered them a timeline of 4 months of development and testing
for an Erlang solution.  They rejected it and asked for a C++
implementation instead.  I no longer am doing work for this client.

I just looked at their website today, over 14 months later.
They still haven't shipped the product I suggested using Erlang in.

We had a timeline of inception to market of about 4 months
with Erlang.  14 months later this company still hasn't shipped
the product, I suppose due to their inability to implement a C++
solution.  Their competition however has already introduced their
equivilent products.  I think this company is on its last legs.
If they can't launch the product this fall, they likely will be.


"Francesco Cesarini (Erlang Training & Consulting)" <> wrote:
> I have been reading this thread with interest. As a consultant working 
> with Erlang helping others evaluate the technology, there have been 
> times when presentations given by us have resulted in the opposite 
> effect... Java and C++ projects being discontinued in favor of rewriting 
> everything in Erlang. It does happen, but not often enough. The feeling 
> of seeing the C++ and Java buffs run out of arguments and grind their 
> teeth is priceless...
> 
> Francesco
> --
> http://www.erlang-consulting.com

-- 
Shawn.



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