[erlang-questions] My biggest beef with Erlang

Joe Armstrong <>
Tue Nov 27 09:52:01 CET 2007


Now you mentioned receive it occurred to me that it would be rather nice to
receive a fun in Erlang. Unfortunately receive has only one syntactic form

     receive
         pattern1 -> action1;
         ...
     end.

In the spirit of funs it would be very nice to say:

     F = fun(Pattern1) -> Actions1
               (Pattern2) -> Actions2
               after Time -> Actions
           end,
     ...
     receive(Fun)

      This would make writing an erlang meta interpreter much easier
and allow all kinds of mischief

/Joe Armstrong



On Nov 27, 2007 12:06 AM, Christian S <> wrote:
> 2007/11/26, Robert Virding <>:
> > or how about:
> > (: mod func arg1 arg2 ... )
> > for all cases?
>
> It seems like (? ...) and (! ...) are the chosen ways for receive and
> send, and (: M F A...) has a nice symmetry with that. That's a thumbs
> up. (However, I find that too many one-character symbols to make code
> be a bit "naked", I'm a fast enough typist that I dont mind spelling
> out full words and I think it makes code more readable in the end.)
>
> My initial feeling was that ':' would only be a reader macro, that
> there would be a full form for remote calls, just like how '(a b c) is
> shorthand for (quote (a b c)).
>
> As far as I understand, lisp started out being a theoretical model
> used to describe/reason about programs, until someone figured out it
> would be easy to make a computer evaluate them. It would probably be a
> sensible route to start erlang in sexprs too: write some programs,
> discover the needed features, then try to build an evaluator for it.
>
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