[erlang-questions] What makes erlang software complex

Richard O'Keefe <>
Tue Nov 11 01:15:12 CET 2008


On 8 Nov 2008, at 10:31 am, Sten Kvamme wrote:

> In imperative programming there is Cyclomatic complexity and N-path
> complexity. What makes an erlang program complex?


Cyclomatic complexity is just "count the IFs and add one"
(flowchart version).

As it happens, I'm on the Psychology of Programming Interest Group
mailing list (the PPIG web site is www.ppig.org), and just last
week someone asked about complexity.  The short answer is that we
haven't a clue how to measure "complexity" for ANY programming
language.  One thing that does seem clear is that complexity is a
function of the reader as well as the text.

Cyclomatic complexity can obviously be defined for functional
code just as for imperative code.  (Modulo difficult questions
about how to count pattern matching.)  Whether it would be
useful to do so is another question; I've never found cyclomatic
complexity particularly helpful for anything much.





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