[erlang-questions] Good Erlang style?

Stefan Axelsson L (LN/EAB) <>
Mon Sep 18 17:33:10 CEST 2006


>norbertk: 
> Yes, that is a problem for me too. I have the feling that these
languages have a lot of 
> practical value, but is is hard to come by without the theoretical
background. 
> defmacro.rg is very valuable because it presents the thinking of FP in
a language which 
> is understandable for programmers in vonventional languages.

Well, there are really two parts to this state of affairs IMHO.

The first is that CS departments tend to be (at least half) full of
people who are much to good at mathematics, if not for their own good,
at least for the rest of us. So the way in which the material is
presented is often obtuse to those who don't have the prerequisite
background. That's not to say that the ideas are often that complex
themselves, but the presentation can be dense (like say;
being-hit-in-the-face-with-a-short-plank dense). (Quite a bit of the
work is also completely and utterly useless, but that's another post,
for another day).

The second is that you *do* have to adjust your thinking when
approaching a new paradigm of programming. However, Erlang is at the
more (shall we say) practical end of the scale. You don't have to be too
violent with yourself to wrap your head around the (fairly few)
functional programming concepts you need to write useful systems, like
an SGSN or an AXD 301 :-). So I'd say that given that you've learned to
program at all (which is quite frankly an insurmountable hurdle for
some, otherwise intelligent people) Erlang shouldn't be troublesome and
the available documentation and material reflects that IMHO. There isn't
too much obtuse stuff published about Erlang in particular. The same
isn't necessarily true for other languages e.g. Haskell.

Stefan,
--
Stefan Axelsson PhD,  (ERVSTAX),   tel: +46 31 747 3963




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