[erlang-questions] New Book "Erlang Programming" from O'Reilly

Bob Calco <>
Sat Sep 6 19:25:08 CEST 2008

Fellow Erlangers:

I am also a co-author of "Concurrent Programming with Erlang/OTP", and the
original guy who sold Manning on the book idea. 

Since that time I have been buried in a huge Erlang project that has
ironically made it very hard for me to contribute as much time as I would
like to this august forum, let alone the book, which is why I am glad I was
able to entice Martin, Eric and Richard aboard early. That saved this
project because they were able to step up when I had to take a step back.

I have been focusing in my work on designing RESTful OTP web services in
Erlang that "play nice" with client technologies like Ruby's ActiveResource
and Adobe's Flex/AIR, and the chapters that make their way into the book on
that subject will be authored mainly by me. But Martin & Eric are doing the
most important work on the book right now, with Richard playing a key role
as only he can--and thank God. :)

(BTW, folks who are interested in those specific technology integrations,
feel free to contact me offline or online with you war stories, thoughts,
suggestions, etc...)

Incidentally I'm not quite "the expert" in Erlang yet compared to those guys
by any means (few people could be more expert than Richard, who actually
worked on the compiler!), but I love Erlang, warts and all. It has been
serving me well in what I've been building. The learning curve has been
quite an experience, and the results so far--wonderful and well worth the

I'll share details about what I have been building in Erlang later, when
it's Officially Official. ;)

I never liked back-end server or web programming before (EJB and ASP.NET
being my main "day job" background in that--so no wonder), but now I love
it. Pattern matching is to die for, and thinking in terms of processes is so
much more natural for concurrent and distributed programming than objects
per se. It's a fantastic paradigm.

All this by way of saying: You relative Erlang newbies (relative compared to
Erlang icons, like my co-authors) out there will also have a representative
(not to mention enthusiastic) voice in the book. ;)

I'm very glad for the O'Reilly book as well. We all share a common interest
in promoting Erlang's many virtues. I really think Erlang, or some
evolutionary successor thereto, represents the future of programming in the
hyper-interconnected world of tomorrow. 

I'm betting my career on it, in fact.


Bob Calco

> -----Original Message-----
> From:  [mailto:erlang-questions-
> ] On Behalf Of Martin Logan
> Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2008 12:47 AM
> To: pat eyler; Erlang
> Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] New Book "Erlang Programming" from
> O'Reilly
> On 9/5/08 9:44 AM, "pat eyler" <> wrote:
> > O'Reilly's not the only publisher with an Erlang book
> > coming out.  I posted a while ago about a
> > then-anonymous publsiher and their plans:
> >
> > http://on-erlang.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-book-rumours.html
> >
> > Since then, Manning has come out of hiding and
> > announced their book, which is now partially available in
> > early access mode:
> >
> > http://www.manning.com/logan/
> >
> Yes we are working quite hard on this one.  The stuff in MEAP is not
> really
> worth reading right now as it is in pre pre beta form and very
> unedited.  We
> are moving quickly though and will be putting a much larger set of text
> and
> code (which actually works, the stuff in the second chapter of what is
> currently out there is not even compliable at this point :) )
> I have been doing Erlang for some 9 years now, same with Eric, and
> Richard
> was around since the beginning as far as I can tell. Even with all that
> experience I must say writing a book is far more difficult than I could
> have
> imagined. I am sitting here tonght punishing my brain to put out the
> most
> concise explanation possible on pattern matching :)  Putting yourself
> in the
> shoes of someone who does not know what you know is not easy. But hey,
> we
> need more books to accommodate and teach the flood of eager folks that
> need
> to learn our language so they don't drown in threaded messes.
> In our book we will be focusing more on really practical Erlang.  Each
> of us
> has worked full time for years with Erlang and put multiple systems
> into
> production.  The book will focus less on theory and more on practice
> with
> heavy emphasis on OTP.  I believe it will be an asset to our community.
> Cheers,
> Martin

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