[erlang-questions] comma-less lists and tuples

Yariv Sadan <>
Wed Sep 20 17:46:54 CEST 2006

On 9/20/06, ke han <> wrote:
> I think you have been staring at your monitor too long ;-).
> I agree it does look a bit nicer. But relative to the rest of the
> term, its not a big gain.

I agree it's not a big gain, but in the Which Is A Better Language For
DSEL pissing contest between Erlang and Lisp, it would at least score
Erlang a couple of points :)

> I have been thinking of DSEL stuff as well lately.  I was looking at
> Joe's ML9 and trying to see whether using that or prettier term
> structure is the better choice for certain types of metadata.

I think the combination of atoms, tuples, lists and pattern matching
makes Erlang a very good host language for DSELs. Maybe not as good as
Lisp, but definitely better than most. Pattern matching especially
makes the implementation of DSELs very intuitive, as I learned when
implementing ErlSQL.

It's funny, because initially ErlSQL was just a bunch of functions
called 'select()', 'insert()', 'update(),' etc, that took a list of
arguments for the body of the query. Only after I made enough
functions, I realized that you can map them to an abstract description
that looks very similar to SQL. Starting out, I didn't realize that
SQL can be mapped so intuitively to Erlang, not to mention that Erlang
is a good host for DSELs :)

> Boston is a nice town and its going to get cold soon...go outside and
> stretch your eyes for a few minutes ;-)
> BTW, I am enjoying erlyDB...great work!!!

The first version was just a proof of concept. The "real" ErlyDB is
coming soon :)


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