[erlang-questions] Erlang shows its slow face!

Edmond Begumisa ebegumisa@REDACTED
Wed Nov 17 16:15:27 CET 2010

That was supposed to be 'hire' not 'higher' in that last paragraph. My  
auto-spell-corrector goes insane at times :)

- Edmond -

On Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:21:21 +1100, Edmond Begumisa  
<ebegumisa@REDACTED> wrote:

>> 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 tools for the problem space. JavaScript is a good  
> example. I'm a huge fan of JavaScript for client-side development but  
> I'm seeing it popup in the 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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