[erlang-questions] Teaching Erlang as part of a paper -- advice sought

Richard O'Keefe <>
Mon Feb 8 23:53:19 CET 2010

On Feb 8, 2010, at 10:18 PM, Joe Armstrong wrote:

> Hi Richard,
> Error detection and recovery seems to be conspicuously absent from  
> your list.

 From the list, yes, from my thoughts, no.
In fact just after sending that message I looked at it with some
annoyance and realised I'd left that out.  I even had another
"essence of Erlang" draft which had it in!

If I were trying sufficiently hard to wriggle out of looking stupid,
I'd say "I did mention building RELIABLE systems".
But I'm not that kind of person (:-) (:-).

> I think this point should be hammered home early and often.
>     "To build a fault-tolerant system you need at least two machines"
>     "Let it crash"
There was something bothering me about everything else I looked at,
including Google's "go".  I couldn't put my finger on it.

THAT's what bothered me.

Yes, Joe, you're right, and this is PRECISELY the kind of advice I
needed.  This is EXACTLY the thing you don't find in the courses I
had been looking at.

It's fairly conventional to start a concurrent programming paper with
very much a "single system" mindset and then move on to distribution
later.  I was already planning to *start* with distribution as the
model, and touch on CTHULHU programming later.  And of course doing
it this way around will make it much much easier for me to follow
your "this point ... early" advice.

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