[erlang-questions] Is erlang a web language?

Wojciech Kaczmarek kaczmarek.w@REDACTED
Sat Feb 14 18:10:29 CET 2009

2009/2/13 Dmitrii Dimandt <dmitriid@REDACTED>

> That's exactly what fess was talking about. Had you not mentioned these
> projects, no one would ever discover them (well, I would, but I run a
> Russian Erlang-related-news site, so I scour the web, blogs and mailing
> lists for news and bits and pieces of info)
> Erlang should really get a repositroy that is as ubiquitous and as easy to
> use as Ruby's gem or Perl's CPAN. Yes, there is a lot of utter crap in those
> repositories, but they are valuable for the fact that you can easily search
> and instal necessary modules.
> For instance, I can name at least three mutually incompatible JSON
> encoding/decoding libraries written for erlang (there are at least 5, I
> think). Definitely at least two libraries dealing with utf-8. Two OpenID
> projects. Two dedicated wrappers for traditional RDBMs (and a third, which
> is a more general ORM-style library). At least three (I think) projects that
> connect to Amazon's web services in one way or another. Two projects
> interfacing with memcached. And the list *will* grow. These are just
> projects I can name off the top of my head
> "Let a hundred flowers blossom" (c) Mao Zedong
> Quite often I don't think that authors of some of these project even now
> that similar projects exist. Forget the users, they will *never* even
> discover some of them :)

3 cents from a perspective of someone who did a lot of searching of quality
3rd-party Erlang software during last two years, for the purposes of r&d
first and later for the production use in a startup.

Centralized repository is tempting (I missed it at the beginning), but it
also requires lots of Q&A work. It can be obvious for anybody who
participated in maintaining some Linux of *BSD distribution. Also it can
reveal specific social incompatibilies between users, as they needs vary
more than most of people would like to admit. And it's not very good for the
perception of the community to start a centralized service which will fail

The simpler step is to make searching easier. A website aggregating some
automatically-retrieved info (from googlecode, github, sourceforge) with a
human-entered content (by those  authors who'd like to care about it) comes
to mind. The results could be sorted somehow, with a raw google search
output as a last resort. Something like that could be plugged into Planet

There's no silver bullet when it comes to managing external software. In
production you usually want to stick with carefully chosen and often patched
specific versions of 3rd party stuff, otherwise you easily introduce a new
point of failure and make the release management pain in the ass. I'm very
happy that  Erlang is the first language making a sane conenction between
HA-world, where you think about your production environment in a very
specific way, and the usual "opensource libraries for all, let's grab it"


-- Wojtek
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