[erlang-questions] The Beauty of Erlang Syntax

Christian <>
Tue Feb 24 22:54:59 CET 2009

What do you call a process that is funded by research money, that have
no predefined absolute goal, repeats the same test over and over again
with alternating parameters, and ends up with a result that may
disagree with the known practices, and nobody know where to use the

Does it sound like an academic exercise?

Interestingly enough, Erlang happened because the
http://www.cs-lab.org/ repeated building a software project in
different languages to see which language did it best, ending up
creating a new language that nobody had asked for. This while
questioning other established software engineering practices in how
they handle programming in the presence of errors. And trying to find
someone willing to base a project on this new language. (This is all
according to the stories I've read about Erlang's genesis.)

In a way, the research that lead to Erlang was about finding a way to
making it faster to have low-skilled developers cranking out new
features. It certainly wouldnt be good PR if Erlang was a language for
highly-skilled developers to slowly cranking out old features.

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 18:14, Kevin Scaldeferri <> wrote:
> It's kinda funny how often people think of things like reliability,
> high-availability, etc. as "academic" concerns.  An awful lot of
> companies care primarily about how fast low-skilled developers can
> crank out new features.
> -kevin
> On Feb 24, 2009, at 8:38 AM, David Cabana wrote:
>> Christian wrote:
>>> I used to think that I liked erlang programming just because it was
>>> quite academic, and that this was just a personal preference.
>> I'm curious what you mean by saying that Erlang is "academic".  If you
>> were talking about Haskell (for instance) I could go understand.  But
>> Erlang was built by people working in industry, with the goal of
>> supporting the development of commercial products.  It doesn't get
>> much more pragmatic than that. In what sense is Erlang academic?
>> drc
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