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

Ulf Wiger ulf@REDACTED
Thu Dec 14 16:38:16 CET 2006

Den 2006-12-14 15:01:44 skrev Tobias Lindahl <Tobias.Lindahl@REDACTED>:

> Basically I think it is possible to build a new language that looks a
> lot like Erlang, but that is statically typed. People have already
> mentioned the problems with code loading and message passing, but with
> some restrictions (and/or additions) to the new language there could be
> feasible solutions to this.

Regarding code loading, for example, my experience is that this is
extremely useful, but primarily during early phases of development
and when installing small patches to a running system. But when it
is needed it really is a killer feature.

Major upgrades in very large applications are often difficult to
perform using the soft upgrade facilities alone. We tend more and
more towards doing redundancy upgrades instead. One reason is that
we have to be able to handle that anyway, and if we can do a
hitless redundancy upgrade, why bother with lots of other
techniques as well?

Another observation is that we often upgrade whole applications
at a time. Treating applications as manageable units increases
the chance of doing both cross-module optimization and cross-
module type checking.

So I agree that smart restrictions could open up for things
like better type checking. Possibly by allowing for a clear
distinction between development 'modes' - maximum flexibility
means less help from type checker and compiler; maximum
safety means the type checker will go medieval on you and make
your life miserable until your code actually works.  (:

/Ulf W
Ulf Wiger

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