[erlang-questions] some language changes

James Hague james.hague@REDACTED
Fri Jun 1 19:18:13 CEST 2007

> Why not take a fresh start and cook up a new syntax, i.e ErlangRedux.
> Initially, the mandatory requirement should be:
> * make use of the existing (super strong) Beam engine.
> * the general semantics of Erlang processes should be preserved
> * hot code loading must still work
> * the distribution mechanism must also be preserved
> Apart from this, cook up a nice concise syntax!

This is an excellent idea!  Most of the complaints about Erlang can
easily be skirted at the syntactic level, and do NOT require any
changes to the concurrency model or the runtime environment.  Even
changes that sound drastic can be easily mapped to BEAM, but I'd say
the first goal should be a source to source translator, so the results
can be run through the existing Erlang compiler.

Stuff that's doable:

* destructive updates of local variables (that is, removing the
single-assignment property)
* local functions
* ability to use any function as a guard
* changing of scope rules, including adding "let...in" and "where" constructs
* a replacement for records
* indentation-based syntax (no more commas and semicolons and so on)
* list comprehensions that step through multiple lists simultaneously
instead of in a nested manner
* more concise type info in patterns

You get the idea :)

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