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

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


Serge Aleynikov wrote:
[skipped]
> 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
instead.

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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