[erlang-questions] Is erlang a web language?

Matthew Palmer <>
Thu Feb 12 20:28:32 CET 2009


On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 09:12:55AM -0800, Kevin Scaldeferri wrote:
> On Feb 12, 2009, at 7:53 AM, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> > No language serves up library code to you on a plate with no effort  
> > involved.
> 
> This is true, but OTOH, Erlang requires much more effort than many  
> other language (Perl being the gold standard here, I would say; with  
> Ruby and, increasingly, Haskell making good showings).  A good  
> repository of reusable code is a huge boon to a language.

When you find "a good repository of reusable code", for any language, please
let us know.

The examples I'm most familiar with (PECL, CPAN, Rubyforge) are large
collections of utter crap, with the occasional jewel to keep your hopes
alive.  The vast majority of what's in any of them is buggy, limited in
scope, doesn't do what it says on the box, poorly tested, undocumented,
downright dangerous, conflicts with other stuff you've already picked,
and/or depends on other modules that you either can't find or which fit the
previous categories.

Basically, "a large library of third-party modules" isn't something you want
to be relying on when you're on a deadline to produce something
mission-critical.  Yes, your average webapp doesn't really fit that "mission
critical" profile (at least, not in the same way as a telephone switch) and
hence isn't Erlang's "traditional" market.  Half-arsed injuhnearing works
well enough for a webapp; it doesn't work for something where 5-nines uptime
is a failed product.

Personally, as an Erlang n00b, I like the different philosophies embodied in
Erlang and it's surrounding community.  I've gotten sick of half-arsed web
frameworks and the dodgiest of dodgy code hanging on by the skin of it's
teeth.  I'm looking forward to building some slightly more robust systems
from here on.

- Matt

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