[erlang-questions] The meaning of OTP...

Joe Armstrong <>
Thu Jul 19 14:15:58 CEST 2007

Don't change the name - nobody knows or cares what OTP stands for.

Personally I hate name change, especially when they are fueled by
political correctness.

The good 'ol word "problem" mutated though several versions.

vsn 1 - "problem" (hundreds of years old, I guess)
vsn 2 - "issue"  (4-5 years old, "problem" virtually vanished after rebranding)
vsn 3 - "challenge" (2 years ago? - short lived - still heard occasionally)
vsn 4 - "opportunity" (2 years ago - seems to have stuck)

example: We have a number of opportunities in our product.

Some of colleagues even don't seem to mind being called chairs when they are in

I have a "brilliant idea for a program that will earn a million
dollars" [1] so I can't
spend idle time writing this.


[1] = problem (vsn 5)

On 7/18/07, David Mercer <> wrote:
> Igwan wrote:
> > To the contrary, I think people have an idea of robustness and
> > reliability when they think of telecoms (the good old and always working
> > PSTN phone lines as opposed to the big unreliable internet :) and in the
> > mind of programmers you can add fault-tolerance and distribution they
> > 've been dreaming about all of their career :) Coming from the telecom
> > industry my objectiveness may be flawed here :) , but IMAO, Erlang
> > should not dismiss its telecom heritage, it's all but a turn-off.
> I agree completely.  I do not come from a telecom background, but when I
> found out that OTP is related to the running of telephone networks, I
> immediately thought of how reliable telephone networks are (when was the
> last time you were kicked off a telephone call because the entire telephone
> system had to be rebooted?) and how this might be a viable choice for my
> nontelecoms applications.
> I do not think it should be changed to Open Transaction Platform, because
> all that is doing is replacing the only meaningful word in the acronym with
> a buzzword, making the term completely meaningless.  Not only that, OTP has
> nothing to do with transactions, so it is not only meaningless, but also
> deceptive.
> Cheers,
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