[erlang-questions] Why is Erlang what it is?

Kirill Zaborski <>
Thu Dec 14 07:29:20 CET 2006

Thanks Ulf for your reply!
But I have one more question: except that this would be much of work to
"inject" the type system into Erlang, what do you think - are there any real
obstacles in the nature and the architecture of Erlang/OTP for some kind of
static typing?
It seems to me that if it possible we would became a language very different
from the "original" Erlang.


On 12/13/06, Ulf Wiger <> wrote:
> Den 2006-12-13 20:15:17 skrev Kirill Zaborski <>:
> > OK, so now meaningful reply from Erlang people (I see
> > that it's dead but I have no idea why)
> I'm not quite sure what answer would satisfy you, but
> my own take on why is that none of the attempts at
> creating a static type system for Erlang were able to
> attract enough users to become interesting in practice.
> Personally, I tried to retrofit one of the type systems
> onto the AXD 301 source code, but found that it would be
> far too much work - just like Richard said. As one of the
> biggest users, of Erlang, the AXD 301 project alone would
> most likely have been able to push static typing into the
> language at some point in time. We even had a requirement,
> and the wish, to see a type system in Erlang, but never
> saw something that we could actually use, until Dialyzer
> came along. Dialyzer works beautifully in our environment,
> and gives us many of the benefits of a static type system,
> with none of the retrofitting pains that we had experienced
> with the static type systems attempted for Erlang in the
> past.
> The simple reason why Dialyzer _did_ become successful
> was that it _did_ attract Erlang users.
> You suggest that static typing was "rejected", but there
> is no formal acceptance or rejection process for Erlang.
> If it had proven useful and enough people had started
> using it, static typing might have made it into Erlang.
> > So I'll email Mr. Wadler direct it would be much
> > easier (at least I hope so)
> By all means. I'm sure Mr. Wadler can give you interesting
> insight into his own work to create a type system for
> Erlang.
> BR,
> Ulf W
> --
> Ulf Wiger
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