[erlang-questions] The Beauty of Erlang Syntax
Sat Feb 28 01:40:04 CET 2009
On 26-Feb-09, at 9:17 AM, David Mercer wrote:
> On Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:49 PM, Michael T. Richter wrote:
> I submit that even at the time of C++ garbage collection algorithms
> were more than suited to the task. It was the old guard of
> programmers switching over to C++ from C that were the hurdle, not
> the technology.
> I admit to being part of that old guard. My view in the early
> ’90’s was that Lisp was the best language for development, so
> prototype in Lisp, and then convert to C for production. (My
> sister had an alternative view which I accepted, which was to only
> convert the parts that were slow, and keep most of it in Lisp. She
> had the luxury of working for an employer that permitted that
> But anyway, I never really understood people’s problems with memory
> management; if you malloc memory, you need to be sure you
> understand the lifecycle of that memory and identify where it was
> to be freed. I just didn’t understand how people could mess that
> up. It made debugging code easier, too, since half the time I
> could find the problem by finding the malloc and figuring out where
> it went from there and where it wasn’t getting freed (or
> prematurely freed).
You answered your own question. Eliminating explicit malloc/free
eliminates that class of error. Just as Erlang/FP paradigmatically
eliminates whole other classes of error (such as mistakes in using
> Then when Java came along, it really proved my point about garbage
> collecting being slow, because Java was much slower than C or C++.
Why blame gc alone? Java was interpreted (then)...
It may be that the overhead of VM and gc was also a factor in the
failure of Smalltalk-80 to conquer the world. Of course, 95 times out
of 100 performance just doesn't matter as much as the programmer
thinks – that's one thing that has not changed – while
maintainability almost always matters.
> I steadfastly refused to learn Java, and luckily I was in a role
> where I could do that. The irony here, though, is, as Richard
> alluded to, I was a big fan of Awk and (later) Perl, because I
> didn’t expect them to be efficient. I wanted them to be easy to
> whip something up,...
> erlang-questions mailing list
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