[erlang-questions] Erlang and the learning curve

Steve Vinoski <>
Tue Jan 4 16:37:04 CET 2011

On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 6:31 AM, Morten Krogh <> wrote:
> Why are one fourth, or whatever, of the posts on this list about nif or c
> nodes or ports?

Even if we assume your percentage is accurate (which I don't), simply
assuming these features are used only for performance reasons is a
case of premature optimization. ;-)

While some uses of these features involve performance concerns, C
nodes, ports, drivers, and NIFs all serve as points for integrating
Erlang with other environments. NIFs have already proven themselves
particularly useful in this regard. Because of the continued growth in
the popularity and application of Erlang, the number of developers
interested in using these features to integrate with non-Erlang code
is also growing.

These are areas of Erlang involving languages other than Erlang, such
as C, so it could be they're harder to understand than other parts of
the language. It also could be that even with the aforementioned
growing popularity of the language, the number of Erlang developers
who've ever written C nodes and drivers used in production remains
relatively small, and so finding good sources of detailed information
about how best to write them is challenging.

But still, I'd argue there really aren't that many questions posted
here about these features.


More information about the erlang-questions mailing list