[erlang-questions] Erlang shows its slow face!
Wed Nov 17 14:21:21 CET 2010
> But overcoming that initial "speed" bias is a tough sell. I'm not saying
> there is an answer to this, and I know that the development team is
> doing their best to make Erlang faster, but we mustn't forget that for
> many, the "perceived" slowness is one factor that prevents them
> developing in Erlang.
I'm not sure that speed matters that much to people anymore (at least not
for application developers, it obviously matters for system developers).
Remember when Java and (classic) Visual Basic came out? There were many
concerns about speed, but in a short period of time these languages
dominated in application development (especially for business
applications) because people had other higher priorities like
ease-of-learning and time-to-market* as Richard pointed out.
Personally, I think it's two other factors that are mainly causing
Erlang's slower than expected penetration in general commercial
application development (as opposed to it's well known niches)...
1. Erlang is perceived as "weird"
A lot of people I've forwarded links to on Erlang just find it too
strange! I'm not taking just syntax, concepts like variables that don't
change are just too odd for them. And things they find familiar are done
too differently. "How do I create an object-model?" they ask.
2. Not "main-stream"
Realising that is a chicken-and-egg issue, one problem in application
development is people feel comfort in numbers. If something isn't used by
a good swath of software companies people are very hard to convince to use
it. If it is wide-spread people graduate it to the mythical status of a
"industry standard" and insist on using it even when there are far better
most unusual places, places which are inappropriate in my view.
* Those two particular issues have a big impact on cost of development.
Shorter development time obviously impacts the investment amount.
Ease-of-learning means you can higher less-experienced, less-skilled
programmers and more importantly, pay lower salaries. It wouldn't surprise
me if the average cost to higher a competent Erlang programmer for 6
months is double that for a competent C# programmer! Sad, but these things
matter. IMO, commercial application developers pay dearly in the end for
choosing the wrong tools for the wrong reasons.
- Edmond -
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