[erlang-questions] Re: various documentation topics now

Dale Harvey <>
Tue Feb 16 14:10:58 CET 2010


I think the community has done pretty well with learning tools, we have

http://learnyousomeerlang.com/
http://erlangforsceptics.com/book/
http://erldocs.com/R13B03/
http://www.trapexit.org/
http://erlangquicktips.heroku.com/

A few of us are in the middle of building a site that organises these
resources. Along with plenty of people blogging about erlang (dukes of erl
etc), I think we are doing pretty well.

There are still lots of gaps around this information, a lot of the otp and
application stuff can still be mystical, but the gap is getting filled up.
and the books do a great job of more comprehensive learning
Dale

On 16 February 2010 12:49, Michael Turner <> wrote:

>
> On 2/16/2010, "Attila Rajmund Nohl" <> wrote:
>
> >2010/2/16, Michael Turner <>:
>
> >> Reference manuals are typically huge, Erlang/OTP's is no exception,
> >
> >Somehow my problem with the Erlang reference manual was always that
> >it's not huge enough.
> [snip]
>
> I'm reminded of the anecdote about the film editor who somehow made a
> "director's cut" release more interesting -- and thus *seem* shorter
> -- than the original theater release, by adding some cuts back in and
> rearranging things a little, actually increasing the running time by 20
> minutes in the process.
>
> But whatever we do, let's not blame the fine folk at Ericsson.  The
> documentation has only been up at github for little while now.  And
> Erlang obviously has a lot more Europe penetration than in the (native)
> English speaking world, aside from being a small minority programming
> language anyway.  So there's a shortage of people who can really fix it
> up nicely on a volunteer basis, and probably not much internal financing
> for the job within Ericsson.
>
> I know that I should spend less time on this list and more on
> contributing documentation patches -- typo fixes first, then more
> detailed contributions as my knowledge of Erlang improves and people at
> Ericsson trust that I can improve things.  Every day, I see something.
>
> Apart from that, well ... what Jayson said.  (But, um, terrestrially
> rather than ballistically.)  He's right.  Good docs are an important
> gateway to a language.  Erlang has taken an odd path to open source, one
> that perhaps means that a lot of somewhat undercooked draft
> documentation has tumbled out into public view.  And it's been a
> relatively small and localized community, making documentation not quite
> so important for a while.  I mean, I can't believe I'm on a mailing
> list where a few co-architects of the language are fairly regular
> contributors.  It's like back when you'd get Dennis Ritchie (in
> person!) copping to having screwed up bitfields on comp.lang.c in the
> early 80s.  I like it.  You probably do too.  But you have to admit,
> ultimately, Erlang won't succeed without a education/communications
> strategy as scalable as the language itself.  Better reference materials
> will be an absolutely essential part of that story.
>
> -michael turner
>
>
>
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