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

Ladislav Lenart <>
Fri Dec 15 09:54:40 CET 2006

Serge Aleynikov wrote:
> Frankly, where I think static typing is advantageous is in code 
> refactoring.  The compiler with static checking helps a lot at fixing 
> all inter-dependencies when types are being modified.

Well, I don't have this experience - quite the contrary. I started
on Basic and Pascal, make my way through C, Java (C++ and C#) and
then I (finally :-) found Smalltalk. Since then I can not help myself
but to compare every other language with Smalltalk (except for Lisp
of course :-). And for this particular discussion, I haven't seen
better refactoring support in any other language (environment).
Note that Smalltalk is strong and dynamically typed (truly object
oriented) language.

And because of Smalltalk, I can not imagine myself to program in
a statically typed programming language anymore. I would have the
feeling that the language is hindering me from solving the domain
problem by forcing me to solve "make the compiler happy" problem

Essentially there are three things a programming language
should have in order I could happily use it:
  * It should be strong and dynamically typed.
  * It should allow one to pass any code as data.
  * It should have clear and consistent syntax.
BTW Erlang did succeed quite well... :-)

Ladislav Lenart

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